Between October and December 2022, South Africa recorded an alarming 5 935 rape incidents, says Police Minister Bheki Cele.
Releasing the 2022/23 third quarter crime statistics, the Minister said the reported rape cases took place at the residence of the perpetrator/victim, including residences known by victims/ perpetrators. These were family, friends and neighbours.
In the same period, he said 4 992 suspects were arrested for gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) and related crimes. In the three months, sexual offences increased by 9.6%.
All Sexual Offences decreased by 25.4%
Over the three months, 71 accused were handed down 89 life sentences for sexual related crimes.
Above this, 219 accused were sentenced between one to nine years imprisonment, culminating to a total of 1079 years behind bars.
A further 143 accused were sentenced between ten to 19 years imprisonment, which was a combined sentence of 2 063 years’ imprisonment.
Another 67 accused were collectively sentenced to 20 years and more for GBVF related crimes. The Minister welcomed the sentencing of the killer of the eight-year-old Tazne Van Wyk, who was this week convicted to nine life
sentences and 259 and half years behind bars, for the gruesome murder and rape of the young girl.
The Minister called on communities to be allies against crime, saying this cannot be understated.
“When it comes to the prevention and combating of GBVF, it remains a betrayal of humanity, to look away and ignore abuse and violence of anyone, let alone women children and other vulnerable groups in society,” he said.
He said that the taking of videos on cellphones and sharing it on social media cannot be a normal response to a pandemic that the country is grappling with.
“When you see something, say something and do something. Information from communities is crucial and can assist in police investigations.”
Notwithstanding the grim picture, Cele said police were sharpening their responses to GBV from an operational and legislative point of view.
“The Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act also referred to as the (DNA Act) will come into operation on the 3rd of March 2023.
“The DNA Act is a crucial weapon in the police’s arsenal of crime fighting tools against GBVF, specifically with regard to the identification of offenders,” said the Minister.
This piece of legislation, he said, would remove serial rapists off the streets.
“It is our resolve to ensure perpetrators of violence against women and children and vulnerable groups are brought to book,” he said.
All Sexual Offences decreased by 25.4%, statistics show.
|Attempted Sexual Offences||45.6%|
|Contact Sexual Offences||-25.4%|