Gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide is a rampant problem in South Africa. Minister of Police Bheki Cele has revealed that members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) are not fully equipped to handle reports of such incidents.
According to Cele, his ministry is formulating a plan to create a dedicated GBV unit to combat the issue. This was announced when the Minister spoke at the handing over of 55 German vehicles to SAPS’ High Patrol Unit in Johannesburg, as reported by EWN.
Cele said the vehicles could be used in the fight against GBV.
“We’re developing the programme to fight GBV. We’re developing a programme where we’ll have dedicated officers because when people go to the police station to report rape, you find an officer who doesn’t know the seriousness of the crime,” Cele said.
The Minister also released the country’s quarterly crime statistics on Thursday, February 19.
The statistics show that 12 200 women reported being raped between October and December 2020, with KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape having the highest number of cases.
Over 4900 of the rape incidents took place at the home of the victim or the home of the rapist.
Reported murders increased by 6.6% compared to the previous reporting period, and sexual offences increased by 5%. Robberies with aggravated circumstances increased by 7%.
This means 1500 people were murdered in the country in the three months from October to December last year, while 12 218 people were raped in the same period.