As a result of Sonke’s numerous interventions and community engagements, and by virtue of its wide media appeal and commentary on topical issues as an NGO authority in the field of gender equality, HIV/AIDS and Human Rights, cases of gender-based violence and discrimination are often referred to Sonke by community members in the course of our trainers conducting workshops or community dialogues, e.g. the alleged rape and subsequent murder of a young gay male in the Ceres community in the Western Cape.
It is, therefore, prudent for Sonke to address these instances of violence and engage with the concerned community members, local stakeholders, the criminal justice system and the family of the victims to ensure that justice is served swiftly and without any undue delays.
Sonke, therefore, as per the instances referred above, embarks on lengthy court monitoring initiatives to:
- Monitor court proceedings.
- Create community activism and awareness around the issue at hand.
- Educate the community and the officials tasked with delivering the service (courts, police officials and health institutions) of their responsibilities and duties highlighted in policy documents, legislation and regulations, i.e., Victim Empowerment Programme, National Instructions, and Standard Operating Procedures to name a few.
This is done with the aim of measuring, assessing and verifying the effectiveness and adequacy of the service rendered to the public by the court structure. These initiatives are vital to Sonke’s continued work around community mobilisation, policy development, advocacy strategies and research opportunities and, furthermore, seek to hold poor performing individuals, institutions and departments accountable for inadequate service delivery.