South Africa

City condemns criminal activities against street people



The City of Cape Town on Sunday was disturbed by report of alleged rape and assault of two street people in the city bowl.

The men, whose identities need to be withheld for their own protection, reported that they were attacked in separate incidents – one by three suspects and the other by one suspect.

One of the men reported was raped with a pole and is suffering internal injuries and likely to require surgery.

“These despicable acts are an affront to their dignity and their human rights.

Had it not been for the concern of two local residents who are familiar with one victim and who enquired about his whereabouts when they couldn’t find him at his usual spot, these horrific incidents might possibly have gone unnoticed, denying the victims crucial medical and psychological assistance as well as an opportunity for justice,” said City’s mayoral Committee Member for Social Development and Early Childhood, Councillor Suzette Little.

The residents approached councillor Little’s office for assistance on Monday 23 March 2015 after tracking down the victim, who informed them that he had been assaulted earlier this month and has been in extreme pain since.

Officers from the Reintegration Unit called for assistance from the South African Police Service, and the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit took their statements before the men were transported to Victoria Hospital for treatment.

The most recent victim has been placed on medication for an infection diagnosed during his medical examination. The City has so far assisted the victim to return to his previous address.

The City of Cape Town has a number of initiatives in place to assist street people, underpinned by Street People Policy. In this financial year the city has nearly doubled its financial resources, and established a Reintegration Unit few.