By Jonk wa Mashamba
As the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women & Children Campaign commences, the South African Police Service (SAPS) deemed it fit to pay gratitude to detectives in the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigations (FCS) as well as the detectives within the Serial and Electronic FCS Crime Investigations (SECI) whose efforts often go unnoticed for contributing to a much better and safer South Africa.
Another devoted gentleman in blue, Sergeant Ishmael Matjeka, age 36, is introduced to the nation.
Born and raised in Moletji, Limpopo, this specialised detective served 11 years after joining the organization in 2010.
Matjeka started working as a detective at the Erasmia Police Station in Pretoria, where he was assigned to investigate all reported crimes in 17 communities.
Six years later, Matjeka joined the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offenses Investigations Unit (FCS) in 2016 in Limpopo.
According to Matjeka, he grew up in a community where women and children became victims of violence.
He described it as an opportunity to make a difference in his community of Limpopo.
With less than five years of him joining this specialized unit, Matjeka has managed to secure 19 life imprisonment sentences for several serial rapists who were tormenting women, children and vulnerable groups in the Limpopo province.
One such serial rapist is a 27-year-old Tshepiso Prince Mabalena, who was recently sentenced by the Limpopo High Court in July 2021 to 16 life sentences.
Mabalena was also given another 15 years on 36 counts of rape. Matjeka’s relentless and meticulous investigation brought about the end of the reign of terror of serial rapists. .
During the investigations, Matjeka found that Mabalena’s series of rapes began when he was just 13 years old.
He targeted women from the age of sixteen to sixty-five. Matjeka who is currently working on 39 cases related to GBV says one needs to be patient and possess great listening skills to be able to crack complex cases.
This detective has pledged to place other perpetrators of gender-based violence behind bars.
“I would like to urge men and women to not only speak out, but act against GBV in time before lives are lost.
“Parents must also pay attention to the behavior of their young children. They should monitor their children’s behavior to check if there is a change so that they are immediately able to pick up on strange behavior.
“Lastly, victims who haven’t received closure should not give up because some cases are complex to solve and require time”, said Matjeka.
The FCS unit boasts 176 units nationwide and nine Serial and Electronic Crime FCS Investigation Units based at Provincial Offices across the country.