8 September 2011
South Africa’s war on rape is far from being won and more attention needs to be given to beat the scourge, says Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa.
Speaking at the release of the country’s annual crime statistics in Pretoria on Thursday, Mthethwa said the number of reported rapes in 2010/11 was unacceptably high.
Even though sexual offences overall had decreased by 3.1%, and had been on a general decline for the past two years, the minister said he was concerned about rape.
“Rape increased from 55 097 to 56 272 cases and we cannot seriously say we are winning the war against rape,” Mthethwa said.
Police were taking various steps to address these figures.
“The re-introduction of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences units through the country over the past financial year provides us with the platform on which to ensure crimes against women and children are adequately addressed by police,” he said.
The minister noted that rapes were often under-reported, adding that continued efforts to improve the country’s criminal justice system could result in more rapes being reported by victims.
He stressed that the eradication of violence that targets women and children was one of his ministry’s key priorities.