Sexual offenses in the Eastern Cape continue to be a matter of serious concern. According to the latest SAPS crime statistics, the province recorded over 1 500 rape cases between July and September this year.
Government and society at large are calling for a joint effort to prevent and curb this scourge. Elderly women and girls continue to live in fear, in anticipation of the next strike.
A church situated at Quzini village outside Qonce is associated with wrongdoings. Its leader is in custody on allegations of rape and human trafficking. It’s alleged that the cleric has been sexually molesting church congregants since last year. The incidents were reported in September.
The unsuspecting community was shocked to learn about the perpetual wrongdoing inside the church in question.
“People were so angry so much that they don’t want him. The youth say they don’t want to mix with him anyway others want government to invalidate his practice. If he’s got a license, it must be taken. Some of them were thinking of destroying that home but we said that’s not about that, we must not take the law into our hands,” says Themba Qambatha, Local Chairperson.
Police Minister cautions police against sending GBV victims away :
Lusikisiki, Mthatha and Bizana police stations have seen a sharp increase in the number of reported cases. Government is calling for a compound approach to tackle the gender-based violence endemic.
“It’s really a point of concern but we will work with SAPS, CPF and the community because we can only fight GBV and any offenses like that one when we work with communities and family members,” says Weziwe Tikana-Gxotiwe, MEC for Safety and Liaison.
Women’s rights groups say society needs to change the way it looks at women and the issues affecting them.
“What we need is to have consistent interventions that change the attitudes and behaviours of men who are toxic in our society. Toxic masculinity needs to change and also the status of women in society has to be raised. We have to value women,” says Dr Lesely Anne Foster, Director of Masimanyane Women’s Rights International.
Murder cases have also jumped from 917 from July to September in 2020 to 1 000 in the same period this year.