National Police Minister Bheki Cele together with SAPS management have held a virtual meeting with various gender-based violence (GBV) activists to discuss a way forward after nearly 10 000 rapes were reported in the first three months of the year.
The meeting on Thursday, June 3, came after Cele indicated in his crime statistics report that 9 518 rapes were reported to the police.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said SAPS needed to engage with GBV organisations on how to educate society on preventative measures, as sexual offence crimes were usually committed behind doors by people known to the victim, IOL reported.
#PoliceMinistry 35 Gender activists from across the country are meeting with Police Minister Gen Bheki Cele and the SAPS management in a virtual #SAPSGBVTalk consultation. This meeting aims to amongst other objectives, improve SAPS’ response to #GBVF. ML pic.twitter.com/0jJ0Kfubww
— SA Police Service 🇿🇦 (@SAPoliceService) June 3, 2021
According to Naidoo, Cele said that the police were increasing the intensity of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigations unit (FCS) to be harsher on the perpetrators of GBV and rape.
Meanwhile, GBV organisation Ilitha Labantu’s spokesperson Siyabulela Monakal, said that South Africa’s rate of femicide was five times higher than the global average.
Monakali described the policing system as problematic as the country only had a 9% conviction rate for rape and sexual violence cases.
Gauteng and Western Cape provinces recorded the highest assault cases. At least 16 528 cases of assaults both common and grievous bodily harm were domestic-related, which meant that the victim and perpetrator knew each other, Business Tech reported.