Harsher sentences needed for cowards killing, raping women and children - Mkongi

Durban – The police department will hold talks with its justice counterpart to look at imposing harsher sentences on people found guilty of crimes against women and children, Deputy Police Minister Bongani Mkongi said on Friday.

"We will look at what kind of sentences are supposed to be given to criminals and cowards who commit such crimes," he said during a surprise visit to the Umlazi police station.

"These criminals are cowards who kill and rape our children, innocent women, elderly people and disabled people in South Africa. That is madness. We must deal with it," he said.

The visit was intended to help boost police morale and look if police stations were being run effectively and answering phone calls.

"We're here to observe whether police are doing their jobs and to get complaints from the people who reported cases that are not being followed up," Mkongi said.

He said he was surprised that journalists were already waiting for him at the police station, since it was meant to have been a surprise visit.

He spoke to officers in the charge office and had a look at the holding cells. KwaZulu-Natal Acting Police Commissioner Bheki Langa and Ethekwini Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer accompanied him.