There are currently no guidelines or policy pertaining to the number of DNA rape kits that must be kept at a police station’s disposal in the Eastern Cape. This emerged from a reply to written parliamentary questions I asked the MEC for Safety and Liaison, Helen Sauls-August.
I welcome the MEC’s commitment to place the issue firmly on the agenda with the SAPS during its oversight meetings and that the department will vigorously strengthen its oversight over the implementation of the anti-rape strategy by the SAPS.
The number of reported rape cases in the province continue to escalate, from 7 433 from April 2010 to March 2011 to 7 436 in April 2011 to March 2012 with the highest total from April 2012 to March 2013, of 7 822. The highest number of cases was recorded in Mthatha (268), Kwazakhele (204) and Bethelsdorp (163).
The Nelson Mandela Bay Metro continues to be the rape capital of the province with five of the top ten stations for reported rape located in this municipality.
While all stations order and refurbish DNA rape kits as required, this is simply not a strong enough measure to ensure that victims of rape and the members of the police that assist them have access to the proper tools to ensure that the first, basic steps for evidence are taken in ensuring that a prosecutable case can be built against an alleged perpetrator.
A well resourced detective service, improved visibility policing, and more effective prosecution through the reinstatement of specialised sexual offences courts will assist in dealing with this most savage and brutal crime.
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