The Year in Review, 2023: Rape scourge in Western Cape

A number of child rapists were handed hefty sentences this year for their heinous crimes. File Picture: SAPS

A number of child rapists were handed hefty sentences this year for their heinous crimes. File Picture: SAPS

Published Jan 3, 2024



Rape continues to be a pandemic in South Africa, and statistics are increasingly evident of this.

It is one of the most heinous crimes that can be committed, and the saddest part is that rape cases involving children are increasing by the day.

While the stance of the nation is to fight gender-based violence (GBV), it still seems not enough is being done.

Earlier this year, 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children were observed; however, headlines across the nation were filled with such incidents. Heartbreaking.

According to crime statistics released in November, in the period between July and September this year, the Western Cape recorded a decrease in the number of rape cases and recorded 1,160 cases, compared to 1,233 cases for the same period last year.

The statistics showed nearly 50% of these rape cases took place at the homes of victims or their families.

National Police Minister Bheki Cele said there were 10,516 rapes reported nationally during July and September, of which 4,726 took place at either the home of the rape victim or the home of the perpetrator, who was known to the victim.

While the numbers are alarming, the wheels of justice are slow; however, our judicial system has locked up some of the most heinous criminals who violate children.

In October, a traditional healer and relative to a minor child was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Mitchells Plain Sexual Offences Court for her rape.

The court heard that on July 4, 2021, the victim’s family invited the accused into their home as a traditional healer after suspecting something was wrong with her.

In his "quest to heal" the girl, the rapist would wake her up at night while the rest of the family was asleep, take her to a separate room, lock the door, and instruct her to undress.

It was revealed that the traditional healer would dip his fingers into guava juice and then insert his fingers into her private parts.

Thereafter, he inserted his penis into her private parts. He would also lick her private parts. The victim escaped and reported the matter to her mother, who was in the other room.

In the same month, a 42-year-old rapist from Du Noon was sentenced to life imprisonment for the rape of his then-seven-year-old relative. He raped the girl as she lay on the couch watching TV. It was later discovered that he infected the child with HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The rapist attempted to murder the girl after he found out he had infected her.

In November, a 69-year-old rapist from Du Noon in Cape Town was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Cape Town Regional Court for repeated rapes and sexual grooming of a minor for over nine years.

The man’s partner was the victim’s nanny, and at times the child would sleep over at their place.

She said the man was also close to the victim’s family and a fellow church member.

The court heard that the rape incidents started when the child was only five-years-old and continued until she was 12.

If you know anyone who may have been violated, contact Rape Crisis’ 24-hour hotline at 021 447 9762.