KZN hosts information session in Msunduzi Hospice
During the week of 14 – 18 October, the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, with its freezing weather conditions did not deter the people of Edendale and the surroundings to gather at the Msunduzi Hospice to grace the community information session hosted by the KwaZulu-Natal Regional Office in partnership with the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court. The session came as a result of the high statistics of sexual offence cases reported in the area.
The recently appointed Pietermaritzburg Chief Magistrate, Ms Evelyn Monyemore said, in her opening remarks, that community outreach is one of her passions because members of the community need to know about the various pieces of legislation. “I often do informal outreach in communities and churches,” she said. She pledged her support towards the outreach activities and committed to attending whenever such events are being hosted in her area of jurisdiction. She further commended the regional office for such an initiative.
A representative from the KZN’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Ms Thandeka Mkhize informed the communities on the Sexual Offences Act. In her presentation, she explained a rapist as any person who unlawfully and intentionally commits an act of sexual penetration with a complainant, without consent. She further emphasised that not only women get raped but men too fall victim to this crime. She appealed: “Victims should go to the police and report such cases so that evidence is collected.” Ms Mkhize further described the steps taken towards the collection of evidence such as DNA, blood tests and vaginal swaps. She also informed community members about the services available at the Thuthuzela Care Centre in Edendale Provincial Hospital.
In recognition of the various services that the department offers, more presentations were on maintenance, Guardian’s Fund, domestic violence and the Victim’s Charter were to enlighten the community members. “I have learnt more on the departmental services and this will assist me to empower communities and refer the cases accordingly,’ said Dudu Zuma, a volunteer from the Red Cross.
As means of interacting with community members on the presentations, a session on question and answers was given. “These sessions must also be conducted in schools in and around the area. This information will be beneficial to them,” echoed Nkosi Dladla from Love Life- Imbali.
24 October 2013