South Africa: Rape Crisis Picket At Khayelitsha Court

Protesters demand proper facilities for sexual offences court

Members of the Rape Crisis’ Rape Survivors Justice Campaign picketed outside the Khayelitsha Magistrates Court on Thursday.

They were demanding better facilities at the sexual offences court.

Court manager Velile Yayi promised there would be major progress by the end of February 2021.

The Rape Crisis’ Rape Survivors Justice Campaign has vowed to take their fight to the Department of Justice if the sexual offences court at the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court does not have proper facilities by the end of February next year.

About 40 picketers wearing purple T-shirts sang and danced outside the Khayelitsha court on Thursday, waving placards saying “Support in every court”, “Safety for children in the court”, and “Access to justice”.

Last year a citizen-based monitoring report by Rape Crisis found that the Khayelitsha court did not cater adequately for rape survivors.

Mandisa Mbotshelwa, the campaign’s advocacy coordinator, said: “We are here today demanding a proper sexual offences court, with proper infrastructure, where survivors of rape will experience secondary trauma less.”

“So far the changes we have seen in this court are a new carpet in the waiting room, a new television, toys, and a door from the waiting room to the Childline office of the National Prosecuting Authority. But the court supporter is still a far walk away and there are still no separate toilets for survivors,” said Mbotshelwa.