Police Minister Bheki Cele says the rape of 10 000 people in three months in South Africa is a “deeply disturbing disgrace”.
This comes as the 2021/22 quarter two crime statistics released on Friday, November 19, revealed that 9 556 people were raped between July and September 2021.
The statistics re the crime levels during the time when the country was placed under Lockdown Level four, three and Level 2 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister said this was an increase of 634 cases (7.1%) compared to the previous reporting period.
He said a sample of 6 144 rape cases revealed that 3 951 of the rape incidents took place at the home of the victim or the home of the rapist.
“Liquor and drugs were involved in 1 383 of the rape cases.
“[A total of] 400rape cases were domestic violence related, meaning the victim and perpetrator have a relationship,” he said.
The Temba police station in Gauteng, Thohoyandou station in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape’s Lusikisiki and Inanda in KZN police stations recorded the highest incidents of rape.
“With almost 10 000 people being brutalized and sexually violated in just three months in South Africa, it is a disgrace and deeply disturbing.
“The majority of people raped are women and those most vulnerable in our society. These statistics show they are often violated by people they know and trust, in the comfort of their own homes or in places where they thought they were safe.”
The Minister said it was encouraging that victims and survivors of rape and other sexual assaults, would at all times have access to an evidence collection kit, the ‘Rape Kit’, at the nearest police station.
In its continued efforts to avoid secondary victimisation at police stations, he said the SAPS was rolling out GBV Desks.
The GBV Desks are manned by police officers specifically trained to provide victim-centered assistance to victims of GBV.
To date, 134 such desks were in operation.
He said the goal was to have a GBV Desk in all police stations countrywide.
“Majority of our stations have Victim Friendly facilities,” he said.
On the same score, he said the Ministry and SAPS management were rolling out the turn-around strategy that were making inroads in tackling the DNA backlog, experienced at SAPS Forensic Science Laboratories.
“We are confident that we will in the near future be able to take the nation into confidence and announce progress made on the DNA backlog,” he said.
Regarding sexual offences, a 4.7% increase is recorded when compared to the previous reporting period. This figure was revised to a decrease of 12.9% if compared to previous normal period of 2019/2020 financial year.