Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala’s policy directing Magistrates Courts to refer serious Gender Based Violence(GBV) cases to the High Court must be supported by all stakeholders in the fight against GBV.
I am a known critic of the CJ but as nature suggests, all human beings have a good and bad side, today I am focusing on the good side of the Chief Justice who recently took a bold stand against GBV.
The judiciary remains a key player in the fight against Gender Based Violence but Judges cannot go around identifying perpetrators in our communities and send them to prison.
This means,the civil society, the media and the police have a role to play to support the policy adopted by the Head of the Judiciary.
Gender Based Violence is a serious problem in this country and we need to eradicate it as part of the efforts to transform our country into a free and democratic society.
Now that the CJ has adopted this policy to prioritize GBV cases,Deputy Prime Minister(DPM) Themba Masuku must declare GBV as a national disaster.
Declaring GBV a national disaster will not only enable the international community to support with resources but will enable all citizens of this country to take this scourge seriously and play a role in eradicating it.
As a Judge, Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala has first hand information on how women are abused in this country because the evidence is normally presented in court.
We may not agree with some of the CJ’s decisions and judicial conduct but, we thank him for taking decisive action against GBV.
Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala.