Ahead of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence (GBV) campaign, Minister of Police Bheki Cele has revealed that 8000 rape cases were reported to the police in the second quarter of 2020.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Cele said the majority of women were raped in their homes or at the homes of perpetrators, while national crime statistics also showed a 16.8% decrease in sexual offences.
“Crimes committed against children and women in the country are at a crisis level. Many of the rapes occur in public places such as parks, beaches, and open fields which means women are not safe. Such incidents also happen at educational institutions, work place and churches.
“Majority of them are raped where they are supposed to be safe. We are calling on members of the police to not send women to negotiate with men when they come to report cases of violence against them. Arrest that person,” he said.
Cele added that 5534 people were sentenced to life imprisonment since the relaunch of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit, while 94 people were sentenced to life imprisonment between July and September.
Meanwhile, Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and People with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, highlighted that women were still economically deprived from certain privileges.
She said that this year’s campaign theme would share light on the importance of women’s economic empowerment.
“The theme highlights the role women play at work. We want more women to access opportunities. We want to do away with unfair treatment in the workplace, women must be counted as as equal to men in this male dominated society.
“The theme also links women’s ability to leave the relationship which they endure due to economic dependency. The aim is to ensure safe work places for women and to bury the scourge,” she said.
The minister said her department would collaborate with the taxi industry on gender sensitisation training.
“The focus of this intervention is to build the capacity of the taxi operators on gender sensitisation using the national strategic plan on GBV.
“The training commenced amongst provinces that are considered as hotspots for GBV. The intention is to expand this training across the country,” she added.