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By Cheryl Kahla

Content Strategist

South Africa grapples with increasing rape and abuse cases

Explore the rise in rape and abuse cases in South Africa between January and March.

As per the latest crime stats, the period between January and March 2023 shows a troubling trend as South Africa grapples with an increase in cases of rape and sexual assault.

Police Minister Bheki Cele presented the crime statistics for the fourth quarter of 2022/2023 to the Portfolio Committee on Tuesday.

Crime stats: Jan to March 2023

Cele said over 15 000 assault cases with grievous bodily harm (GBH) were investigated by the South African Police Service (Saps).

Rape on the increase

A total of 10 512 rapes were reported in this period, with a staggering 21.5% increase in attempted murder cases.

This means that there were 1 485 attempted murders and 969 women were killed in this period.

Rape hotspots

The Inanda Police Station in KwaZulu-Natal recorded 82 cases between January and March 2023.

And while this is the highest in the country, it’s down by 16 (from the 98 cases reported during the same time last year).

Thohoyandou had the second-highest number of reported cases with 74, which is an increase of 7 when compared to January-March 2022.

Other areas considered as rape hotspots include:

  • Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape: 72 cases reported between January and March 2023, down by 27
  • Umlazi in KwaZulu-Natal: 64 cases reported, up by 13
  • Mthatha in Eastern Cape: 64 reported cases, up by 18
  • Tembisa in Gauteng: 62 reported cases, up by 35
  • Empangeni in KwaZulu-Natal: 59 reported cases, up by 21

The police station with highest number of reported rape cases was Tembisa, increasing by 35 from 27 cases during 2022, to 62 cases this year.

Nongoma in KwaZulu-Natal also had a big surge – an increase of 26 cases from the 20 reported in 2022, to the 46 reported this year.

What is being done

Despite the worrying figures, there are glimmers of hope as six provinces reported fewer rape cases.

This decline is attributed to the up-scaling of Saps operations to trace gender-based violence (GBV) perpetrators, arrest serial sex offenders and rapists, and ongoing dialogues with communities.

Furthermore, ‘100 Days to Combat GBVF’ is a South African initiative worth watching.

The teams and volunteers behind SA’s ‘End GBVF 100-Day Challenges’ recently highlighted some of their victories in the fight against gender-based violence and femicide.

READ: 100 days to make a difference: SA’s bold move against GBVF

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