A Limpopo mayor has appealed to churches to play a meaningful role in curbing gender-based violence (GBV) as over 1 000 cases were reported in the second quarter of the year in the province.
Limpopo recorded a total of 1 004 sexual offences with rape, sexual assault and attempted sexual offences increasing between 2020 and 2021, according to the South African Police Service’s second quarter crime statistics.
According to the stats, Limpopo recorded 834 rape cases, 108 sexual assault cases, 54 attempted sexual offenses and eight cases of contact sexual offenses.
The statistics also show that domestic violence continues to be a serious societal issue.
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The province recorded five attempted murder cases, eight murder cases, 18 rape cases, six sexual assault cases, 232 assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and 354 common assault cases classified as domestic violence related crimes.
Limpopo also has three police stations falling in the country’s top 30 stations with the highest rape cases.
Thohoyandou police station is ranked second in the country with 69 cases, Seshego is ranked 10th with 44 cases and Mankweng is 13th with 42 cases.
In light of all this, government and faith-based organisations in the province joined forces to fight the scourge of GBV as part of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign.
“We need to elevate the role of the church if we are to build safer communities and end the violence against women and children,” said Pule Shayi, chair of the South African Local Government Association in the province.
“The church remains an important institution that should shape our morals and values.
“We also want to appeal to the church that it should not distance itself from the challenges faced by this community. Let’s join hands and end this scourge.”