GBV Monitor SA notes the recent South African Crime Statistics Third Quarter Report released by Minister Bheki Cele. The publishing of the data demonstrates a commitment to transparency by the ministry and the South African Police Services to inform and engage our public discourse. We commend this accountability measure.
According to the report, 11 315 rapes were reported between October to December 2021. This increase of 1759 reported incidents is an 18% increase compared to the previous quarter (July to September 2021), with 9 566 reported. Instead of depicting this double-digit increase, Minister Cele pronounces that rape is decreasing by focusing on comparing this quarter with the same period from the preceding year (October to December 2020). This is a deliberate attempt to misconstrue the daily realities of women, children, and LGBTQIA persons living in terror across the country.
Umlazi and Inanda in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape police stations record the highest incidents of rape. What is of concern is Lusikisiki appearing on this list for the third time consecutively during each quarter throughout 2021. This makes Lusikisiki a site of national importance in our assessment of GBV and support mechanisms that should be considered for survivors of GBV, law enforcement officials, civil society groups, and the community. Furthermore, the statistics demonstrate that communities located in rural and peri-urban areas are most vulnerable to rape.
Minister Cele describes the appalling state of GBV as “a catastrophe”, akin to an individual without the power and influence that his position affords him. “The real catastrophe is the incessant war on the bodies of women, children, and LGBTQIA persons without demonstrable immediacy in finding and implementing solutions. South Africa deserves leaders who can roll their sleeves up and do the hard yards, even when journalists and media crews aren’t following them,” says GBV Monitor SA Founder and Executive Director, Omogolo Taunyane-Mnguni.
We’ll continue to support efforts that elevate the national conversation on eradicating GBV. This includes holding government officials to account to the public and call for our leaders to conduct themselves in the best interests of the country.