Northern suburbs see rise in rape cases

Police Minister Bheki Cele released the statistics last week. Picture Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA)

Rape is on the increase in several northern suburbs, mirroring the national trend, according to the latest crime statistics.

Police Minister Bheki Cele released the statistics last week. They show all reported crime in the country from April 1 2019 to March 31 2020.

There are increases nationally in murder, rape, assault and robbery.

For the fourth year in a row, rape and other sexual assault cases have risen – 706 more rape cases have been recorded compared to the previous year (from 41 583 to 42 289).

In the Western Cape, there were 4 877 reported rape cases – 4.9% more than last year’s stats.

The country’s murders rose 1.4%, from 21 022 to 21325 cases. In the Western Cape, they dropped by one case, from 3975 to 3974 cases.

Delft has replaced Nyanga as South Africa’s murder capital. Delft’s murder cases rose 7.3%, from 247 to 265 cases, while Nyanga dropped 36%, from 289 to 185 cases, to fifth place.

Six Western Cape precincts – Delft, Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Mfuleni, Harare and Gugulethu – are among the country’s top-10 murder hot spots.

Kraaifontein’s drug-related crimes increased from 2 972 cases last year to 3 082 cases this year, and rapes increased from 173 to 175 cases. Murders dropped from 151 to 137 cases. For contact crime – that is all crimes involving violence or the threat of violence – Kraaifontein’s cases fell from 3059 to 2834, but it was still high enough to rank it fifth in the country for that category.

Illegal possession of firearms and ammunition increased from 88 to 112 cases. 

Kraaifontein police spokesman Captain Hein Hendricks said the statistics showed “the station is on the right track” with the Anti-Gang Unit’s presence in hot spots in Scottsdene.

 As for drug-related crimes, he said, substance abuse had a strong link to crimes, such as theft, burglaries, rape, assault and other contact crimes. That was the station’s next task to tackle, with the help of non-profits and rehabilitation centres, he said.

In Kuils River, rapes increased from 35 to 44 cases. Murders went up from 24 to 29 cases, but overall contact crimes were down for the third year in a row, according to station commander Colonel Jayseelan Naidoo. Armed robberies dropped from 458 to 361 cases. 

Drug-related crime dropped from 928 to 563 cases, but home burglaries increased from 586 to 604 cases. Stock theft is also up, from three cases last year to 11 this year.

“I am still pleased with the statistics because Kuils River is a big area. With 26 farms and informal areas our numbers are still decreasing and that’s a good thing,” Colonel Naidoo said.

Rapes have increased in  Brackenfell, from 16 to 18 cases. And drug-related crime is up from 155 to 175 cases. Home burglaries have dropped from 362 cases to 242. 

Brackenfell station commander Colonel Jakobus Marthinus said they could not do without the local community police forum (CPF), neighbourhood watches and security companies.

Rapes in Parow have remained static at 29 cases, although total sexual offences dropped slightly from 48 to 45 cases. Murders increased in Parow, from 10 to 14 cases, and attempted murders almost doubled from 11 to 19 cases. Common assault is also up, from 224 to 249 cases.

Deon Maneveld, chairman of Parow CPF, said the statistics were alarming and he fears they could only get worse with growing unemployment. Drugs were at the root of many of the community’s problems, he said.

In Goodwood, rape increased from 16 to 22 cases and murders jumped from four to 12 cases.

John Ross, chairman of the Goodwood CPF said three of those murders had taken place elsewhere and the bodies had been “dumped” in Goodwood.