The past three months have been brutal on women in South Africa as 10,006 people were raped between April and June 2021, according to statistics released on Friday in Pretoria.
Members from various political parties and of the general public protest against rape and gender-based violence in Pretoria, South Africa, on November 28, 2018.
“This is an increase of 4,201 cases, amounting to a 72.4 percent increase, compared to the skewed previous reporting period,” Police Minister Bheki Cele said.
He said that comparing the two periods would leave the statistics distorted because of the hard lockdown in 2020, which severely restricted freedoms and movement, resulting in less crime.
According to the statistics, if the latest figures are compared with the same period in 2019, there has been a 2.8 percent increase in raping. Cele told the media that a sample of 5,439 rape cases showed that 3,766 of the rape incidents happened at the home of the victim or the home of the rapist while 487 cases were domestic violence-related.
The statistics revealed the Inanda police station in KwaZulu-Natal, followed by Delft in the Western Cape and Lusikisiki station in the Eastern Cape registering the highest number of rape cases in the country.
Between April and June, 5,760 people were killed during the same period. This represented a 66.2 percent increase in murder compared with the same period in 2020, or 6.7 percent if compared with the first quarter in 2019.
Cele said more than 2,500 people were killed in public spaces including open fields, parking areas, and abandoned buildings. More than 1,300 killings took place at the home of the victim.
Gender expert Lisa Vetten said the figures revealed an increase in violent crimes. She said while the police could do a lot of work to prevent serial rapes, preventing rapes in homes was more complicated.
She said issues with DNA forensic laboratories must be sorted out. “It’s really worrying that there’s been an increase in violent crimes,” she noted.
Commenting on the stats, Javu Baloyi, spokesperson at the Commission for Gender Equality said that the crime report was horrifying.
“These are alarming, we were hoping that the numbers would go down,” he said, adding that the police should “prioritize” gender-based violence.