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Police need training in domestic violence cases: NGO

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Police need more training in dealing with domestic violence cases, a Limpopo-based victim support group said on Monday.

Often when police intervened in a domestic dispute without the intervention of social workers, women and children were killed, Thohoyandou Victim Empowerment Programme’s legal officer Tshilidzi Masikhwa said.

She was reacting to the deaths of two children, allegedly at the hands of their father, in Makonde village, 23km north-east of Thohoyandou, on Wednesday evening last week.

Their mother ran from the house following an argument, leaving the father alone with their two children, a 2-year-old daughter, and 5-year-old son, police spokesperson Colonel Ronel Otto said at the time.

He allegedly beat them to death with a knobkerrie.

Police are still looking for him.

“The victim called police before the incident,” Masikhwa said.

They arrived and told the couple to reconcile.

But, said Masikhwa, the police should have opened a case rather than urging the couple to reconcile.

“Because for the victim to call police, it means her life was in danger,” said Masikhwa.

“We have a problem with police. Their attitude is not helpful. She called the police after he threw her clothes in the toilet.”

Masikhwa said police needed to treat such cases as “life threatening”.

The two children will be buried on Tuesday.

Masikhwa appealed to local residents to stand up against abuse.

“The suspect was spotted on Saturday, but villagers did little to help police. We are not saying they must take the law into their hands, but they must be pro-active.” News24


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