Police will not withdraw charges just because victims depend on their abusers

Pretoria – Sunnyside police on Monday said they were determined to ensure that people who abuse their partners - either physically or otherwise - have their day in court, irrespective of whether the victim submits a withdrawal statement.

Sunnyside police commander Brigadier Ramakamakama Kekana said they wanted to ensure that crimes against women and children are prevented, and alleged offenders are hauled before the courts.

This was in response to an attempt by a 29-year-old woman to withdraw a case of assault against her 40-year-old husband on Monday.

The withdrawal attempt was put on hold following a discussion between a State prosecutor and the police.

"We are fully aware that most of the victims of domestic violence are dependent on the perpetrators one way or the other. However, it would be irresponsible for us to allow cases to be withdrawn willy-nilly without exploring alternative dispute resolutions that are at our disposal," said Kekana.

Captain Daniel Mavimbela said it was believed that the woman arrived at the flat she shares with her husband at about 02:30 on Sunday morning and found him asleep.

"The suspect reportedly accused her of promiscuity and demanded to have sex with her. Upon her refusal, the suspect allegedly attacked her, using hands and other objects," said Mavimbela.

The suspect was arrested on Sunday shortly after the incident was reported to the police.

"He was charged with assault under the Domestic Violence Act, an offence that requires the immediate removal of the alleged perpetrator from the scene, into police custody, and that is not negotiable."

The suspect appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Monday and his case was postponed to Wednesday, November 29.

"The suspect remains in custody while his status in the country is being verified," Mavimbela said.

He said people who believed that they can violate the rights of their dependents and hope that if a case is opened, it will simply be withdrawn due to the victims' dependence on them, should think twice.