The new crime statistics released by the South African Police Services (SAPS) today, revealed a disturbing increase of 72.4% in rape cases. A total of 10 006 rape cases were reported between April and June 2021. This is a shocking increase of 4 000 cases compared to the same period in the 2020/2021 financial year.
“The current DNA backlog of over 300 000 cases at the National Forensic Sciences Laboratories (NFSL) means that these victims might have to wait for three years or longer to get their day in court. That is if the court case isn’t struck from the roll in that time. The police minister is once again failing victims of gender-based violence in South Africa,” says Ian Cameron, spokesperson for Action Society.
Minister Cele himself commented on the inadequacy of his department and used the Covid pandemic as a scape goat: “These figures should action us and strengthen our resolve. The figures, as distorted as they are (due to the country being at a standstill during this period) must also sharpen the SAPS operational responses to make South Africa safer for everyone living within our borders,” he said.
Cameron continues: “Now more than ever it is time for citizens to be legally armed, in order for them to protect themselves, as the SAPS is clearly not fulfilling their responsibility towards South Africans.”
It seems that people were faced more directly with social problems such as domestic violence during the lockdown. In a sample of 5 439 cases, it was found that 3 766 of rape incidents took place at the home of the victim and 487 were domestic violence related.
“The fact that there is a miniscule conviction rate of 7.8% in GBV cases in our country allows perpetrators of violence against women and children to roam free on our streets to rape and murder without any fear of the consequences. The SAPS and government are becoming co-conspirators to GBV as they are not taking up their responsibility and mandate – which is to protect the citizens of our country.” concludes Cameron.
ISSUED BY: Action Society
DATE: 20 August 2021