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Cops apologise for leaking details of Krugersdorp zama zama rape victims

Police commissioner, General Fannie Masemola has tendered a public apology to women who were raped, allegedly by zama zamas in Krugersdorp's West Village in July 2022.
Police commissioner, General Fannie Masemola has tendered a public apology to women who were raped, allegedly by zama zamas in Krugersdorp's West Village in July 2022.
Image: Ntswe Mokoena

National police commissioner Gen Fannie Masemola has apologised to eight rape victims whose personal details, ages and addresses were leaked on social media. 

The women were raped in Krugersdorp on July 30 2022, allegedly by zama zamas (illegal miners), while shooting a music video at a disused mine in Krugersdorp's West Village.

It was alleged the women, who are models, along with a film crew were attacked by scores of men who robbed and raped them. 

The incident sent shock waves across the country and sparked sporadic anti-zama zama protests on the West Rand. Police descended on areas allegedly targeted by illegal miners and scores of undocumented foreigners were arrested.

“On behalf of the SAPS, I apologise unreservedly to the victims in particular and their families. Crimes against women and children remain a priority for members of the SAPS,” said Masemola. 

“In the past financial year, 386 life sentences were handed down to perpetrators of gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) related crimes and during the same period 17,481 suspects were arrested for such crimes,” he said, 

A statement issued by Masemola's office on Wednesday said an internal probe had been conducted after the leak of the victims' information and it had been found that the SAPS was to blame. 

“The investigation was conducted and concluded. The final report found that indeed the personal information of victims was released inappropriately but no ill intent was uncovered. This however still does not justify the sharing of such information,” read the statement.

“The information which was shared on various internal WhatsApp platforms of the SAPS sought to only mobilise all the necessary role players and resources in a bid to apprehend those responsible for this heinous crime. During the process of tracing the suspects the SAPS management of Gauteng, the relevant district, stations and units were alerted of the crime and requested to mobilise resources to trace the suspects. WhatsApp messages were used to communicate due to the urgency of tracing the suspects.

“Unfortunately, personal information of the above-mentioned victims were disclosed in the WhatsApp messages on SAPS WhatsApp groups, which found its way to social media. The SAPS regrets the disclosure of such personal information and apologises to the victims of the dreadful crimes for the information breach and the hardship caused as a result.” 

The SAPS committed to running internal awareness campaigns within its ranks to avoid a repetition of the breach.

“The management of the SAPS assures all people in South Africa of its commitment to comply with the Protection of Personal Information Act,” SAPS said. 

TimesLIVE

 

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