Sexual offences crimes decreased by 6.7% between April and June, the latest crime statistics reveal.
This was on Friday announced by Police Minister Bheki Cele, while releasing the quarter one (Q1) Crime Statistics for the 2022/23 financial year.
The category includes the crimes of rape, sexual assault, attempted sexual offences and contact sexual offences.
Over the three months, sexual violence crime cases decreased by 800 cases.
Cele said 9 516 rape cases were opened with the South African Police Service (SAPS) between April and June 2022.
He said: “This is almost 500 less rape cases reported, compared to the same period last year. While rape cases declined in all provinces, the North West and Northern Cape provinces are the only provinces to report increases in this crime category.”
A total of 3 780 of the rapes took place in the homes of the rapists or homes of the victims. This was in comparison to 1 546 people that were raped in public places such as streets, parks and beaches.
“Public transportation such as buses, taxis and trains are third most likely places of occurrence for rape cases,” he said.
“It is on this that score the SAPS will continue to prioritise gender-based violence (GBV) related crimes.
Between April and June this year, 286 rapists were convicted through investigative work done by the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit.
The FCS unit of the SAPS investigates crimes committed against women and children and vulnerable groups.
Out of the 286 rape convictions, 46 of the rapists were sentenced to life behind bars.
He said while the majority of rapes do take place behind closed doors and are hard to police, the Ministry of Police is confident that more rapes were being prevented by police through the detective work of the FCS.
Serial rapists are stopped in their tracks and such convictions ensure these heartless rapists never rape again, he said.
During this period, he said 16 offenders involved in 65 serial sexual offence cases were finalised and convicted.
He said the convicts would serve a total of 20 life and 886 years imprisonment.
The Minister said the SAPS continues to improve and positively respond to what has been declared a pandemic by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“Evidence collection kits also known as rape kits and buccal sample kits continue to be procured and available for all victims of sexual crimes,” he said.
(With Inputs from South African Government Press Release)