More than 9,500 rapes in three months: Cele vows crackdown on GBV

14 May 2021 - 13:24 By alex patrick
More than 9,500 people were raped between January and March, new stats reveal. Stock photo.
More than 9,500 people were raped between January and March, new stats reveal. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/ANDRIY POPOV

“The sexual violence meted against women in this country is simply shameful. Seemingly men and children are not spared.”

These are the words from police minister Bheki Cele when he released the latest crime stats on Friday afternoon.

“While there has been a decline in sexual offences cases, 9,518 people were raped between January and March.”

Station commanders, I urge you to act decisively against substandard service at your stations
Police minister Bheki Cele

Despite an almost 4% decrease in the number of rapes compared to the previous reporting period, Cele said “gender-based violence (GBV) remains a priority crime for us in the police service”.

“When it comes to GBV, there is no room for complacency. Those ‘sleeping on the job’ must get their act together or ship out.

“Station commanders, I urge you to act decisively against substandard service at your stations.”

From a sample of 6,893 of the rapes, 4,130 of those incidents occurred at the home of the victim or alleged rapist.

The Eastern Cape’s Lusikisiki police station recorded the highest number of rapes, overtaking the Inanda station in KwaZulu-Natal, “which has sadly held the number one position for some years”.

Cele said they were starting to make a dent in the DNA backlogs experienced at the police forensic science laboratories.

“The nation is assured we are working around the clock to clear the backlog and GBV cases are being prioritised.

“The delays have been severe, we admit, but 42% of dockets for crimes committed against women and children that had been outstanding for more than a year have been finalised.”

He said they were hiring more forensic analysts to work through the backlog.

“To ensure we avoid a repeat of these bottlenecks in future, an early warning system to detect anomalies is being developed.

“Most importantly, eliminating corrupt practices that once plagued the forensic division of the police service is a non-negotiable.”

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