Bheki Cele speaks on banning alcohol again. While there has been a decline in s.e.xual offence cases, 9 518 people were raped from January to March, Police Minister Bheki Cele revealed in the quarterly crime stats report yesterday.
The Eastern Cape’s Lusikisiki police station recorded the highest number of incidents of rape, overtaking the Inanda station. Cele noted a sample of 6 893 of the rape incidents revealed that 4130 of such incidents took place at the home of the victim or the home of the alleged rapist.
Agisanang Domestic Abuse Prevention and Training spokesman Sidwell Sehoana said the decrease in sexual offences was not satisfactory.
“We were under lockdown last year and this year, and it was difficult for people to report such cases.
“As an organisation, we’ve observed that marital rapes were some cases that were rarely reported because people were unfamiliar and unempowered about the types of rapes that could take place,” he said.
“We remain encouraged that rapists can be brought to book through the availability and access to rape kits at all police stations,” he said.
A DNA recovery plan was in place to progressively clear a DNA backlogs experienced at SA Police Service forensic science laboratories.
“Regarding the DNA backlog, there were several things wrongly done, one of them was contracts, but this was corrected and are evaluated and signed.
“Another factor was a depletion of the staff – 150 posts were advertised externally and the interviews have begun. Hopefully they will be working by July,” noted Cele. Results from up to 72 000 rapes were outstanding.
“The delays have been severe, we admit, but 42% of dockets for crimes committed against women and children that had been outstanding for over a year, have now been finalised,” he said.
Statistics for contact crimes such as assault grievous bodily harm (GBH), sexual offences, common assault and robbery and robbery with aggravating circumstances had decreased by 8.5%.
“This was a decrease of 387 cases, almost 4% [down on] the previous reporting period,” said Cele.
Murder and attempted murder were the only two crimes that recorded an 8.4% and 8.7% increase.
The minister urged communities to help the police in finding those responsible for crimes.
“We also relied on communities to help us where they could,” he said.
“Those people must be found and arrested, which is where the forensics also came to play.”
The statistics revealed the top four factors in the murder incidents were arguments, robberies, both residential and non-residential and street robberies, mob justice and gang-related incidents.
While all cases of assault have decreased by more than 9%, there were still over 75 000 cases of common assault and assault GBH opened with the police from January to March.
“In 2 855 incidents of assault GBH it was confirmed that alcohol was consumed by the victim or the perpetrator or both.” He added: “A total of 2 047 incidents of assault GBH took place at a bar, a night club or tavern.
“This doesn’t exclude alcohol being present in parks, beaches and other places of entertainment.”
The Gauteng and Western Cape provinces had recorded the highest number of assault cases.
A total of 16 528 incidents of assault, both common and grievous bodily harm, were domestic-related, which meant the victim and perpetrator knew each other.
The minister urged the alcohol industry to be part of curbing alcohol-related crimes.
“It is on this score that we call upon the alcohol industry to also be part of the solution and offer social responsibility programmes.”