Almost 40 000 rape cases in SA last year

More rape cases appeared on the rolls of KwaZulu-Natal courts over the past year than any other province, according to figures provided by Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Radebe on Thursday.

In a written reply to a parliamentary question, he said a total of 39 946 new rape cases appeared on the rolls of magistrate’s courts in all nine provinces between July 1 2008 and the end of June this year.

This averages out to over 780 new cases nationally each working day.

Radebe said the total figure was obtained from his department’s integrated case management system.

The same source shows the conviction rate over this 12-month period was less than 11% of the total.

“In respect of convictions, there are approximately 4 244 finalised cases, or people who have been found guilty and convicted for rape.”

Radebe said he was not able to put a figure on the total number of people arrested for rape, and referred this part of the question—posed by an African National Congress MP—to the SA Police Service.

“In respect of arrested persons, the [department] does not keep such records and is unable to provide information in this regard.”

According to his reply, almost a fifth of the rape cases were in KwaZulu-Natal.

“Over the last year, the highest numbers of rape matters appearing in courts were in KwaZulu-Natal, which enrolled 7 278 cases, followed by Western Cape, which enrolled 6 411. Northern Cape enrolled the least number of cases at 1 462.”

Radebe said a breakdown of the cases by age showed the majority of rapes were perpetrated by young adults, aged 21 to 30.

According to figures included with the question, well over half the offenders (22 943 of 39 946) fell within this age group. - Sapa

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