MEDIA STATEMENT BY SAPS 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM
As the country observes the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign, the South African Police Service (SAPS) deemed it fit to pay gratitude to detectives in the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Units as well as the detectives within the FCS Serial and Electronic Crime Investigations (SECI) whose efforts to a much better and safer South Africa often go unnoticed.
Today, we introduce the nation to 53-year-old Warrant Officer Bez Bezuidenhout.
Born and bred in Bloemfontein, the father of two joined the SAPS in 1993. In 1995, he was transferred to the then Child Protection Unit as an investigating officer. This specialised detective remains a beacon of hope for many survivors of GBV which include women, children and people of vulnerable groups.
In March this year, the member successfully ensured that a notorious serial rapist with a strong gang affiliation who was found to be terrorizing his victims around Bloemfontein and surrounding areas since 2014, was sentenced to 35 years direct imprisonment. Following this conviction, the member was also able to link the same perpetrator to a cold case of murder which took place in 2013.
In 2018, the member joined the Serial and Electronic Crime Investigations (SECI).
To date, he has been instrumental in the handing down of at least 20 life imprisonment sentences and an additional 2000 years of which 115 years were handed down between August 2021 and October 2021 to perpetrators of GBV related crimes.
With 26 years’ experience in solving GBV related cases, the member has advised survivors and those exposed to abuse to leave the relationship and seek help immediately.
“The first time you may be lucky and land in hospital but the second time can be the last time, as most cases turn fatal. My advice is to get out of the relationship when there is still time, the abuse will never end and he or she will never change. Abusers use a reward system, they are psychological masterminds. They abuse and reward you with promises and gifts. The beatings never end, they end when there is a tragedy”, advised Warrant Officer Bezuidenhout.
There are 176 FCS units nationwide and at least one Serial and Electronic Crime Investigation Unit per province.
The South African Police Service is encouraging all citizens to download the #MySAPS app. The app allows citizens to share information more effectively by providing tip-offs anonymously through the App, finding the nearest police stations and facilities and offers quick access to all official SAPS social media platforms.
In addition, GBV survivors and those exposed to GBV related abuse are encouraged to click on the vulnerability services icon on the MySAPS App to get a better understanding of what the FCS unit offers to GBV survivors and affected parties.
Colonel Athlenda Mathe
082 040 8808