Ricochet News

117 convicted rapists received life sentences in the Eastern Cape last year

May 4, 2017
117 convicted rapists received life sentences in the Eastern Cape last year

Between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017, life sentences were handed down  to 117 convicted rapists in  the Eastern Cape alone in 96 cases, which total  602 years imprisonment for the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.

"The age of the victims range between 3-62 years and at least 43 of these victims were minors," described Eastern Cape provincial police spokesperson, Brigadier Marinda Mills.

"In many instances young victims were left unattended or in the care of individuals who should never have been  entrusted to take care of toddlers and children. Often victims make themselves extremely vulnerable by being under the influence of alcohol and then move very late at night between homes and drinking places.

"We have  also had incidents of domestic violence where relationships had  gone sour and  the perpetrators then rape victims out of revenge.  Then there are also cases where perpetrators sexually violate their victims because they cannot accept that their advances were not welcomed and  refuse to take no for an answer."

Brigadier Mills said that the SAPS has prioritized sexual offences against women and children and it is heartening to report positive progress has been made in assisting victims of sexual crimes.

"Our detectives,  attached to Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences units (FCS)  in the Province  are especially trained to investigate these type of cases and have all the necessary resources to focus on arresting perpetrators," she said. 

"SAPS Forensic  social workers as well as experts in the Departments of Social Development and Health assist our investigators to ensure that the best efforts are made to support survivors and ensure the conviction of perpetrators.

"We therefore, encourage victims of sexual crimes not to hesitate in laying  charges against those who have abused or assaulted them."

Brig Mills said that it is indeed difficult for the SAPS to prevent these crimes from happening that is why they are continuing with with  awareness campaigns in communities especially at schools.

"We request  parents to make sure their children are always under good and trustworthy supervision.  We are also calling on women not to make themselves vulnerable with the abuse of alchol and to make smart decisions relating to their personal safety," she added.

"We would also like to call on communities to take care of the elderly especially those who are staying alone and to start community programmes  such as elderly care groups which  will assist with the safety of our elderly women. Also women should be careful not  to befriend strangers when walking alone.

"If the person is persistent, attract the attention of others around you – one of the best defences is having people around you. Always keep family and friends aware of your whereabouts so that an alert can be made if you do not arrive at your destination."

Commenting on the same issue, Provincial SAPS Commissioner for the Eastern Cape, Lt Gen Liziwe Ntshinga, said; "We have noted with concern the continuous incidents of rape reported  across the Province especially our rural areas.

"The sexual abuse of women and children is indeed shocking and one must emphasize the role that  alcohol and drugs play in the prevalence of these crimes.”