The Shukumisa Campaign is moving and shaking things up in central KZN thanks to the energy and commitment of 6 NGOs from Pietermaritzburg.
Justice and Women, LifeLine/Rape Crisis, Centre for Criminal Justice, FAMSA, Pmb Gay & Lesbian Network, CREATE (a disability rights NGO) and community radio activist Nana Makhanya, launched the Shukumisa Campaign during the 16 Days of Activism.
They will work together to monitor Regional and Sexual Offences Courts and Police Stations, in terms of the provisions of the VEP Charter and Batho Pele.
The areas they will cover include Pietermaritzburg and some rural centres , Melmoth, Eshowe, Ladismith, NewCastle, Mooi River, Estcourt, Bergivlle, Ixopo, Highflats, Bulwer, Impendle, Mphopomeni and Howick.
The participating NGOs feel strongly that the campaign should be conducted in a respectful and professional manner, and so have been at pains to liaise with the Department of Justice and the SAPS prior to the monitoring visits which are scheduled to take place in January and February 2011.
In keeping with this commitment, all monitors will carry their ID books, identify themselves by wearing a Shukumisa Monitor’s sash, be issued with documents from their parent organizations that authorize their activities and provide background information about Shukumisa.
In addition, to model the principle of accountability, the NGOs have developed a Code of Conduct that will govern the conduct of the monitors, as well as a Feedback Form for the respondents at the Courts and Police Stations to complete at the end of the monitors’ visits.
The 6 NGOs will be moving and shaking things up in central KZN long after the end of this year’s 16 Days of Activism Campaign, and hope that their findings will result in improved services to victims of sexual offences – twenty-four/seven, 365 days a year.
Here is the monitor’s code of conduct
- Monitors will phone ahead and set up appointments at the Court or Police Station
- Monitors will be non-aggressive and non-confrontational.
- Monitors will wear the white Shukumisa sash and introduce themselves using :
· the Shukumisa Campaign background letter
· the parent organisation’s staff verification letter
· their ID book
· the Shukumisa Code of Conduct
- Monitors will be politely persistent. They will ask a question in 3 different ways in order to obtain an answer.
- Monitors will be professional at all times, and will avoid becoming overly familiar with staff at the Police Stations or Courts.
- Monitors will ensure that they adopt a professional dress code.
- Monitors will keep their cell phones switched off for the duration of their visits.
- Monitors will ask the interviewee to complete the Shukumisa Feedback Form.
- Monitors will say goodbye and thank the interviewee for their time.