Government must act with utmost urgency against crimes: Amnesty International

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Amnesty International says the South African government needs to act with utmost urgency to suppress rising crime in the country.

The organisation was reacting to the crime statistics that Police Minister Bheki Cele released in Pretoria on Friday for the period from October the first to the end of December 2020.

They revealed that sexual offences increased by 5% to 12 218.

Infographic on rape incidents, with Inanda and Umlazi in KwaZulu-Natal reporting the most cases:

In a statement, Executive Director of Amnesty International SA Shenilla Mohamed raised serious concern with the increase in sexual offences.

“It is alarming and seriously concerning to see that the total number of sexual offences has increased by 1.8% and sexual assault by 4.5% compared to the same reporting period of the previous year. 12 218 cases of rape were reported, marking an increase of 1.5%. This averages approximately 136 cases of reported rape a day. This cannot be tolerated.”

Mohamed says, “Urgent action is needed to ensure the safety and protection of all in South Africa. It is also important to note that these are only the cases that have been reported to the police, and one could surmise that there are more victims and survivors than the official figures, given the under-reporting of rape in the country.”

Mohamed says South Africa’s war on women and girls must be stopped immediately.

Minister Bheki Cele presents the quarterly crime statistics:

Fight against gender-based violence

Deputy Minister for Women, Youth and People with Disability Hlengiwe Mkhize says the rise in the number of reported rape cases in the country is a major concern.

Mkhize’s spokesperson Amanda Tshemese says a lot still needs to be done in the fight against gender-based violence.

“With the announcement of the third quarter crime statistics by Minister Cele, it is very concerning the increase of 181 rape cases reported rape case. It is clear that a lot still needs to be done in fighting gender-based violence and femicide. We are also looking at cases such as sexual assault and murder aimed at women especially in the top four provinces; Gauteng, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.”

The DA has accused police of not doing enough to combat crime in the country. The party has proposed that Police Minister Bheki Cele along with National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole should urgently appear before Parliament to account for failing to keep South Africans safe.

Crime Stats show an increase in rape and murder in the last three months of 2020: