Meeting with Justice, The struggle continues
Posted: Mar 18, 2011
Category: Public Statement
The Struggle to End Gender Violence and Hate Crimes Continues
On the 14th of March 2011, Triangle Project and Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust presented a memorandum at a meeting hosted by the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Development. The focus of the meeting was on the ‘Corrective Rape’ of lesbian women. The memorandum was endorsed by a wide range of organisations and activists across South Africa. The Memorandum called on the Justice Ministry to implement immediate and concrete measures to improve the way in which the criminal justice system handles crime of violence against lesbian, gay, transgendered and intersex (LGBTI) people.
Some of the recommendations put forward were:
1. That the South African Police Force, Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJ & CD) and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) monitor hate crime cases in the criminal justice system (CJS) from when the case is reported to the South African Police Force until sentence is handed down to ensure that CJS does not re-victimise survivors.
2. That rape perpetrated against LGBTI is heard in designated sexual offences courts.
3. That the NPA develop directives to raise hate crime as an aggravating circumstance to oppose bail, as an exacerbating factor for sentencing and as an aggravating factor for the consideration of the perpetrators parole application.
The meeting, which included representatives from the DOJ & CD and the NPA, was chaired by Mr Tlali, spokesperson for the Justice Ministry who introduced the meeting as an exploratory one. Key points and questions that were raised in the meeting included:
- The possibility of setting up a working group or task team
- The terms of reference that would guide such a group
- The need to broaden participation to other stakeholders, both civil society and state (e.g. the SA Police Force was not represented ) and also to ensure that this is a national and not only a Western Cape Initiative
The Ministry, the DOJ & CD and the NPA have committed to careful consideration of the oral and written proposals. A second meeting is scheduled for May 2011.
This meeting is only one event in the struggle to end gender violence and hate crimes in South Africa.
Within this struggle Triangle Project remains committed to:
- Placing the human rights and dignity of survivors of violence at the centre of our advocacy goals and activist strategies
- Interrogating the term ‘corrective rape’ and the way in which the term is used
- The fundamental transformation of a society that continues to enforce gender and sexuality norms through violence
- Challenging out-of-context generalisations and explanations which attribute anti-LGBTI violence to a homophobia and ignorance that is peculiar to African culture and which reinforces racist stereotypes
- Activism informed by an understanding that: discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity intersects with discrimination on the ground of gender, race, age, religion, culture, ethnicity, socio-economic status, class, disability, geographical location and HIV status; and that these intersections impact on people’s vulnerability to violence and the extent to which people are able to exercise their constitutional and other legal rights and access justice.
Triangle Project wishes to acknowledge the solidarity of organisations and activists from a range of sectors who endorsed the memorandum. We look forward to on-going work with you in our collective struggles.
Research, Advocacy & Policy Programme Co-ordinator
Unit 29 Waverley Business Park,
Dane Street, Mowbray 7700
PO Box 13935, Mowbray 7705;
Tel 021 4483812 Fax 021 4484089