While there has been a drop in the number of sexual offences reported, the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) continues to haunt women and children in the country.
According to the quarterly crime statistics released on Friday, South Africa recorded fewer sexual offences between July and September this year.
Police Minister, Bheki Cele, said crimes such as rape and sexual assault recorded a dip of 16.8%.
The country reported an 18.8% reduction in the number of rape cases.
However, Cele said the months of July, August and September 2020 were “dangerous” months for thousands of women after 8 922 cases of rape were reported during this period.
Cele told the media that a sample of 5 168 rape dockets revealed that 3 578 people were raped in their homes or at the home of their perpetrators.
“The same analysis also revealed that more people were raped in KwaZulu-Natal than any other province.”
According to the data, most of the rapes that occurred in the residence of the perpetrator or victim happened in KwaZulu-Natal with 710 reported cases, followed by Gauteng with 578 and Western Cape with 514.
“Majority of those who were raped were women,” Cele added.
In addition, over 1 000 people were raped in public places such as parks, beaches, parking areas or open fields.
According to Cele, law breaking is now peaking after a drastic drop in criminal offences during the hard lockdown implemented to curb COVID-19 infections.
“On the 14th of August I stood here and spoke about a never seen before ‘rosy’ picture of a peaceful South Africa experiencing a ‘crime holiday’. That was the picture the crime statistics from 1st of April to end of June 2020 painted.”
He said this was largely because most people stayed at home and more police officers were on the ground.
“Basically, the environment for crime to thrive was distorted.”
However, he said he knew it would not last as the country reopened for more businesses to operate.
The latest crime statistics are indicative of a country that is enjoying fewer restrictions under the Disaster Management Act.
Cele on Friday paid his respects to the 252 men and women in blue who have lost their lives to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We also pass our condolences to all the officers who were killed on and off duty in the last three months.”
“I believe there is a war against our officers of the law and we must be ready for the fight.”