Nearly 500 arrested for rape, assault and kidnapping in KZN in two months
KwaZulu-Natal family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit detectives arrested 483 people during December and January for crimes including rape, sexual assault, assault, concealment of birth, kidnapping and attempted rape.
Police spokesperson Col Thembeka Mbhele said that 18 convictions were made in January. These resulted in two terms of life imprisonment, as well as a total of 149 years' imprisonment for sexual-related cases, being attained.
Acting KZN commissioner Maj-Gen Thulani Gonya said it was disturbing to hear of cases where women were being assaulted, abused and raped, as well as of child abuse cases.
“The women are let down by the very people who should be protecting them. The KwaZulu-Natal police officials are fighting this epidemic around the clock to bring all perpetrators to justice, thus giving peace to the victims and hope to women and children,” said Gonya.
Meanwhile, the police ministry said it was encouraged by the numerous life sentences handed down in the past three weeks for crimes committed against women and children.
Police minister Bheki Cele has welcomed the heavy jail sentences meted out to perpetrators of gender-based violence.
Cele has commended the police investigators who put together solid cases that led to the hefty sentences.
Most recent was the conviction of Lungile Nxelelwa, who was handed two life sentences for the rape and brutal murder of his girlfriend Keneilwe Pule.
Nxelelwa was convicted by the Palm Ridge magistrate's court on Tuesday.
“The decision by the courts to hand down life sentences to these criminals is a clear message that the whole value chain of the judicial system is tackling gender-based violence with the seriousness it deserves,” said Cele.
“These sentences should encourage us as police to continue to put away those individuals that don’t belong in our society and at the same time serve as a lesson that the judiciary does not take crimes against women and children lightly.”