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IN QUOTES | Bheki Cele says 94 rapists have been given life sentences in 3 months

25 November 2020 - 13:45 By cebelihle bhengu
Police minister Bheki Cele said more than 8,000 women reported rape cases between July and September.
Police minister Bheki Cele said more than 8,000 women reported rape cases between July and September.
Image: Esa Alexander

Police minister Bheki Cele says 94 people have been sentenced to life imprisonment between July and September for charges of rape. 

More than 8,000 women reported cases of rape during this period. Many of these rapes, said the minister, occurred in public places like parks, beaches and open fields.

The majority of the 8,000 were either raped in their homes or at the homes of their partners.

Cele was speaking during the launch of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign on Tuesday.

Here are five quotes from his briefing:

Families must support victims 

"It's worse with families sometimes when they force women to go and withdraw these cases. I'm very glad justice is working on those laws, that even if the victim withdraws, the government and state must proceed to prosecute those people. They should not stop. There are thousands of cases withdrawn on the insistence of the families."

Women on farms 

"There is double jeopardy for women [on farms], not just as farm workers but as women. Women are sometimes forced to pay for their crimes through their bodies by the farm owners. They say, 'For you to stay here, you have to sleep with me.' They are raped and give birth to the children of rape. Usually we look at the suffering of farm workers, but there is more we need to look at."

Life imprisonment

"Since the relaunch of the family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit, we managed to have 5,534 people sentenced to life imprisonment. Between July and September, 94 people were sentenced to life imprisonment."

Training staff  

"We are training a group of people who will deal with rape or with abuse deaths. Rather than you going to the police station and finding anybody and everybody to report to, it should be a person who will understand."

Women need space, not protection 

"This thing of men protecting women doesn't sit very well [with me]. Women need space, they don't need to be protected. They are full human beings, they can think, they just need space. Nobody qualifies us to protect them. They can, they are capable. Everybody must give women the space to do their thing. Men must understand women are not here for their pleasure."