Two investigating officers of the South African Police Service (SAPS)’s Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Investigations Unit under the Detective Services Division, were given the National Commissioner’s Special Awards.
Pretoria: 29 January 2019 – Between 1 July and 31 December 2018, the South African Police Service’s Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Investigations Unit under the Detective Services Division, achieved numerous convictions of criminals with regard to crimes against women and children, which included murder, rape and child pornography. A total of 1 357 accused persons were given 371 life sentences and over 4 629 years’ imprisonment by the courts in 838 cases.
Two of the investigating officers who contributed to the above total number of convictions, are Detective Constable Tlala John Mokoena and Detective Captain TT Bvuma, both from Gauteng. They received the National Commissioner’s Special Awards in recognition of their commitment, hard work and outstanding achievements. Their dedication to their work has ensured that survivors of the heinous crimes they investigated – rape, murder and child pornography – believe in the police to bring them justice, thereby restoring the communities’ confidence in the police and the law.
The successes of Detective Constable Mokoena of the FCS’s Serial and Electronic Crime Investigation Unit, include six serial rapists who were sentenced to a combined 17 life sentences and more than 800 years’ imprisonment. He is also responsible for the recent conviction of the Soweto Taxi Rapist, Gift Lebohang Mokwena. Detective Constable Mokoena has been promoted from the rank of ‘Constable’ to that of ‘Warrant Officer’, with effect from 1 February 2019.
Detective Captain Bvuma on the other hand, was allocated a case of rape to investigate in 2016. As a seasoned detective, he managed to link the suspect he had arrested to 13 other rape cases, in a reign of terror that started in 2014. The suspect was eventually convicted on 52 charges including rape, kidnapping and assault, and was sentenced to 15 life sentences and 105 years’ imprisonment.
Crimes against women and children have always been a priority for the South African Police Service and the 2018/2019 financial year was declared as the year to especially focus on crimes against women and children.
The FCS Units around the country consist of dedicated members who go beyond the call of duty to ensure that the survivors of these heinous crimes – rape, murder and child pornography – are treated with the utmost care and respect to avoid secondary victimisation. Bringing the perpetrators of crimes against women and children to book, is the only reward that the FCS investigating officers need, as explained by Detective Constable Mokoena, “Being able to solve a case and ensuring a hefty sentence, bring survivors of rape and families of those that have been murdered, some form of closure, and that is what we are always striving to achieve”.
The FCS Units also conduct awareness campaigns at schools and communities to preach the gospel of children’s safety, and to sensitise the communities about the realities of the scourge of crimes against women and children.
The SAPS calls on parents and caregivers to report all crimes committed against children, as failure to report such knowledge, may result in the prosecution of the parent/caregiver or anyone older who had known about the incident.
The SAPS would also like to warn women who report false cases of rape, assault et cetera, to refrain from doing so as once a case has been reported, the police waste much needed resources as well as their time, which could have been diverted to where they are really needed. Those found to be doing this, will be charged with perjury and will be prosecuted.