The DA’s Gauteng Spokesperson on Women has criticised the province for its lack of action when it comes to gay and lesbian targeted crimes.

“The provincial government and police in Gauteng are out-of-touch with crimes against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LBGTI) community,” commented Member of the Provincial Legislature Patricia Mokgohlwa.

In a statement issued last week, she accused the province of having no specific strategy to deal with these crimes and claimed that there was a lack of targeted training and awareness programmes.

“Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko’s reply to my written question highlights the second class citizen treatment received by LGBTI people despite guarantees of equality in the Bill of Rights,” said Mokgohlwa.

“Amid the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign the MEC’s reply also indicates that only 1 168 of the 32 093 operational SAPS members in Gauteng received training in gender-based violence and sexual offences programmes between April and October this year,” she revealed.

The news comes after Gauteng police recently confirmed the existence of a gang in the province targeting gay men and as incidents of so-called “corrective rape” of lesbian women in townships continue to increase. There are also reports of police victimising victims of these crimes or not taking the attacks seriously.

“Despite this, the Community Safety Department does not have specific programmes to deal with crimes against the LGBTI community and instead lumps such crimes in its Violence Against Women and Children strategy,” said Mokgohlwa.

“The Gauteng police also have no specific training programmes for such crimes and instead receive training in broad ‘gender sensitivity programmes’…” she added.

Mazibuko urged the Gauteng MEC and provincial police to take a tough stance on LGBTI-related crimes and ensure that a comprehensive strategy is developed and implemented to ensure such crimes are prevented and dealt with effectively when they occur.

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