Nic Andersen, The South African, May 18, 2018
Some new rape statistics direct from the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, have left the nation feeling even more worried and unsafe. Believe it or not, over 40% of all the rapes in South Africa are committed against children.
In a parliamentary reply to a question from the DA, Cele revealed various numbers for child murders and child rapes over the last three financial years.
Of the 124 526 total rape cases reported in the last 3 financial years, children were the victims of a sickening 41% of these cases.
In the same time period, 2 600 children were also murdered. That amounts to 5% of the total murder numbers across the country.
“This also means that at least 46 children are raped every day and at least two children are murdered every single day in South Africa. Only 21% of child rapes cases and only one in three murder cases resulted in successful convictions,” said Zakhele Mbhele, DA Shadow Minister of Police.
The numbers become even more frightening when you realise that the number of child rapes has continually increased over the years.
In 2014/15, there were 15 520 child rapes reported. Only 1799 ended up in successful convictions. In 2015/16, 16 389 were reported. Just 2 488 were convicted.
In 2016/17, the numbers rose even further to 19 071. Thankfully, there was a small improvement in convictions; 6 366 were convicted.
“The horrific brutality with which these children were murdered is also frightening. Weapons used, include firearms, axes, spades, pangas, hammers, belts and poison– many of these children were practically butchered to death,” Mbhele said.
“Something is seriously amiss and the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, must take a firm stand against these senseless losses of life and the brutal murders of our children.”
While the overall rape crisis in South Africa has long been well documented, it seems that South Africans had no idea that the problem was so severe amongst children.
Minister Cele has a lot that needs urgent attention; this issue is certainly in that category.