| WATCH | Crime stats: Over 12 000 rapes reported in only three months

  • At least 12 000 people were raped between October and December last year.
  • 570 of these incidents were domestic violence related.
  • Police Minister Bheki Cele denied there was a shortage of evidence collection kits.

At least 12 000 people were raped between October and December last year, with over 4 900 of these cases taking place at the home of the victim or the perpetrator.

Police Minister Bheki Cele on Friday released the quarterly crime statistics, noting that there was an increase of 181 reported rape cases, or 1.5%, compared to the previous reporting period.

He said 570 of these incidents were domestic violence related.

“Inanda, Umlazi in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape’s Lusikisiki police stations recorded the highest incidents of rape.”

He took aim at the EFF, which called for his head over reports of the absence of rape kits at 76% of police stations since July.

“Allow me to take this opportunity to assure the nation that there is no shortage of evidence collection kits in all police stations across the country. A three-year contract entered into with a supplier in 2019 to provide these essential kits is still in place,” he said.

“The availability of the rape kits at all provinces is confirmed on a weekly basis and replenishment is done as per the station’s request. So the statement by the EFF calling for my head due to what it terms a shortage of rape kits in 76% of police stations since July 2020, is false and downright misleading.

“Trying to score cheap political points, using the painful ordeal of thousands of rape victims and survivors, is just disgusting, to say the least.”

Cele said the statistics “expose some of the gaps that exist in policing certain crime categories”.

“They also lay bare some of the policing shortcomings experienced in certain provinces. The National Crime Statistics from October to December 2020 do not paint a good picture, and hence force us as the SAPS to dig deep and put the shoulder to the wheel.”

Murders countrywide saw a 6.6 % increase, with 389 more people killed compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.

Mpumalanga recorded the sharpest increase in murders at 13.7%.

Of the reported cases nationwide, 193 were as a result of domestic violence.

“The top four causative factors of these deaths are arguments, robberies at a household and businesses, mob justice incidents and gang-related killings,” he said.

“A total of 2 481 people were murdered in public places like on the street, open field, parking areas and abandoned buildings. 1 643 murders occurred at the home of the victim or of the perpetrator.”

He said liquor outlets were the third most likely place to be killed in South Africa while most assaults occurred at these establishments, homes of victims or perpetrators and public places.

A total of 50 124 cases of assault were opened during the quarter, which Cele said “show that violence stalks our society and in many cases the violence is aggravated by alcohol abuse”.

He said the police’s Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit has secured 129 life sentences in the last quarter in relation to gender-based violence and femicide, which he said remained a priority crime.

A total of 19 people were killed in incidents on farms and small holdings, statistics showed.

“While most of the people died at the hands of criminals, unfortunately some of those were killed by farm owners or farm managers.”

Property-related crime decreased by 15.8%, with a 20% decline in theft of vehicles and motorcycles.

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While fewer businesses were robbed in the last quarter, delivery vans and trucks were now being targeted, he said.

“[The] majority of the vehicles, including courier vans, were targeted for their cargo, which is usually food, appliances and other priced goods.”

Cele said it was clear that the police’s response to cash-in-transit robberies was not working, as 26 more attacks were reported.

“National Commissioner, if we are to win against these thugs, SAPS must go back to the drawing board and work with speed. We will also, in the coming days, meet with the CEOs of the cash-in-transit industry on this matter.”

Cele described the current crime rate as “bleak”.

“We must and we will do more to turn this crime picture around,” he said.

“We must all have sleepless nights over these crime numbers. We must exert ourselves in the quest to deliver our mandate as the SAPS, which is to protect and serve the people of this country.

“This is a matter of life and death and complacency won’t be tolerated.”

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