Police Minister Bheki Cele has once again raised concern at the country’s alarming rate of crimes against women and children.
This after Quarter 2 of 2022 crime statistics saw a double-digit percentage increase for murder, attempted murder and assault GBH [grievous bodily harm] against women. The Minister on Wednesday released the statistics, which reflected the country’s crime trends between July and September 2022.
Addressing media, Cele said the rate at which women are abused, violated and killed in South Africa remains worrying and unacceptable.
“Many are killed by the people they know, people they love and trust,” he said.
In the reporting period, Cele revealed that over 13 000 women were victims of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
While 1 277 women were victims of attempted murder, 989 women were murdered during this reporting period.
Over the three months, the Minister said over 10 000 rape cases were opened with the South African Police Service (SAPS).
“From a sample of 8 227 rape incidents that were perused, it was determined that 5 083, which is 62%, of these incidents occurred at the residence of the victims or perpetrators. [A total of] 1 651 of the rape incidents occurred at public places such as streets, parks and beaches,” the Minister said.
At least 69 people were raped at abandoned buildings.
The Minister said Mpumalanga was the only province to report a decrease in rape incidents.
“Inanda police station in KwaZulu-Natal, Mthatha in the Eastern Cape and Delft in the Western Cape are the three top stations with the highest rape cases.
“Buses, taxis, trains and other modes of public transport were the third most likely places of occurrence for rape incidents,” Cele said.
Women and children
The Minister said the statistics were indicative of communities that continue to fail to protect children.
Shockingly, in just six months, 558 children were killed in South Africa between April to September 2022.
In this regard, Cele said police were investigating 294 attempted murder dockets opened between July and September 2022.
A total of 1 895 assault GBH cases, with children as victims, were opened with the police during this reporting period.
“It is on this note that the SAPS continues to prioritise gender-based violence (GBV) related crimes,” said the Minister.
Between July and September this year, the FCS [Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences] unit arrested 4 375 perpetrators of crimes committed against women and children.
“Police traced and arrested 410 rapists during this reporting period. Sixty-eight of them have been sentenced to life behind bars,” Cele said.
The Minister said it was very encouraging that the Criminal Justice System continues to send a strong message of zero tolerance to rape through the stiff sentences handed out to rapists.
“It is clear that the broader civil society, religious organiaations and various community structures must sharply address the causes and preventative measures of crimes against women and children.”
Cele said the Ministry remains extremely concerned about rape at educational premises.
Over the three-month reporting period, 83 rapes occurred at educational facilities, including schools and tertiary institutions.
“One needs to take into cognizance that educational facilities refer to the scene of the crime and should not be interpreted to imply that all perpetrators and or victims were pupils or students,” he said.
Source: South African Government News Agency