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9 June 2023
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Faster action from law authorities needed to protect women and children 


The South African Police Service (SAPS) must sort out its manpower and resources problems urgently because it is failing women and children in South Africa. 


“Justice delayed is justice denied. It has been two weeks since the brutal rape and murder on Palesa Malatji (17), a matric learner of the Ntsako Secondary School in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria. Although 10 suspects have been interviewed, no one has been arrested. 


“Police Minister Bheki Cele said they are processing DNA samples from the suspects to try and identify the perpetrators. MISA learned from prosecutors in Pretoria that it takes on average between 18 months and two years for DNA samples to be processed in rape cases. That is simply too long,” says Martlé Keyter, MISA’s Chief Executive Officer: Operations.


Palesa was attacked days before the start of the annual National Child Protection Week that ended on the 5th of June 2023. 


“One life lost is one to many. We cannot waste time when we need to help woman and children,” says Keyter. 


Twenty-eight children in South Africa are violently attacked every day, three of them don’t survive.


These are the findings of UNICEF, a division of the United Nations (UN) responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide. UNICEF evaluated the latest quarterly crime statistics from January to March 2023 released by the SAPS.


Keyter says the crime stats shows that women continue to bear the brunt of violent attacks in South Africa. 


“In the first three months of 2023, 1 512 women were raped, 1 485 attempted murders of women were reported, 969 women were killed, and over 15,000 women were assaulted.”


“During the same period 245 children were murdered, but according to Cele we should be grateful because it is a decrease of almost 20% year-on-year,” says Keyter. 


MISA, the Motor Industry Staff Association, represents more than 59 000 members in the retail motor industry. The Union operates two e-mails addresses, and to assist anyone in the industry or their children who needs help, irrespective if they belong to the Union.


Keyter says MISA believes it is the social responsibility of any trade union to help women and children in country where gender-based violence has become a pandemic. 


“The level of violence against children continues to shock and outrage us. There can be no excuse for violence against children. Every act of violence against a child is a tragedy,” says Muriel Mafico, UNICEF South Africa Deputy Representative. 


Issued on behalf of MISA by Sonja Carstens, MISA’s Media, Liaison and Communication Specialist. Vuyokazi Bam assisted with research. 


For MISA Press Releases, phone Carstens on 082 463 6806 or email



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