New-look safe room on the cards

The group that attended the camp.

The station commander at Nyanga SAPS is excited that different stakeholders have come up with a plan to revamp the victim support room of his police station.

Talking to Vukani in Philippi about the stakeholder engagement camp held in Simon’s Town over the weekend of November 27 to Sunday 29 November. Brigadier Vuyisile Ncatha said the victim support room offered a safe haven for adults and children, and was open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

He said his station and the stakeholders would officially reopen the “victim-friendly room” to provide emotional support to victims of crime in the area in the coming weeks.

Brigadier Ncatha said he was happy that his area had also established the Gender-Based Forum with multi-stakeholders to help fight gender-based violence.

“We came out of the stakeholders engagement with better resolutions. But what made me most happy is the fact that everyone committed to revamping our trauma room,” he said.

“We have a small room without any proper equipment. But now the stakeholders that include Nyanga CPF and non-governmental organisations have come up to say they will buy dolls and other equipment to make it more friendly. I have also committed to buy paint and the Nyanga youth desk will paint it,” he told Vukani.

The victim room is situated inside the police station.

Brigadier Ncatha said the withdrawal of cases by victims of gender-based violence was a particular problem. “(The Gender-Based Forum) will be led by credible people. We do not want people with records who are untrustworthy. The forum must be transparent as we as police will be. We need to be assisted with cases where victims come back and close the case. These people will help in that regard,” he told Vukani.

Dumisani Qwebe, Nyanga CPF secretary, thanked the stakeholders for coming together and helping the station. He said the room had been in a poor condition.

“Obviously the standard of it will be up now. It will give hope to the victims and people that come in (and) there will be beds for children. That is a huge boost for us,” said Mr Qwebe.

Taking about the newly established forum, Mr Qwebe said people would not be able to withdraw cases without proper reason. “If one withdraws the case, the state will have power to continue with it on its own.

“So we are warning people not to open GBV cases and withdraw them after a while. The forum will not allow that,” he said.

As Nyanga is known for many serious crimes and lack of facilities, Mr Qwebe said he hoped the relationship with these stakeholders would continue.

Among the stakeholders are, the departments of education and social Development, Amandla Development, Nyanga Youth Desk, Golden Cloud Development, Arthritis Foundation, Religious Leaders, the Answered Prayers Foundation, Human Rights Commission, Traditional Leaders and Nyanga police.

Brigadier Vuyisile Ncatha.