Children in the Eastern Cape are falling prey to vicious sexual predators, making up half of all sexual offences’ victims in the province in the last financial year.
“This outrageous figure is a sad indictment of the utter collapse of the moral fabric of our society. We all need to band together to turn the tide,” DA shadow MEC for Safety and Security Bobby Stevenson, MPL said in a statement today.
In a response to a parliamentary question, Eastern Cape Safety and Liaison MEC, Weziwe Tikana, said that of the 7,966 reported cases in the province for the 2017/18 financial year, 3,951 were children, under the age of 20.
Tikana said 476 of the victims (5.98%) were younger than six years old, and 1,179 (14.8%) were aged between 7 and 13.
The top three stations, with the highest no of sexual offences in the province, were Mthatha Lusikisiki and Kwazakhele.
“This places a huge onus on those responsible for the care of children to ensure their safe keeping,” Stevenson said.
He said more needed to be done to ensure that these sexual predators are placed on the National Register for Sex Offenders, and that this list is used to monitor these offenders to prevent future crimes.
“What this highlights is the crying need for a well-trained police service, where there are highly skilled detectives with the necessary forensics qualifications that can track these perpetrators down,” Stevenson said.
“The SAPS must also create an environment whereby victims feel confident to come forward and tell their stories.”
In a separate answer, MEC Tikana revealed that of the 196 police stations in the province, 43 do not have victim friendly rooms, as per the prescripts.
“The solution to this problem requires a whole society approach, including civil society, parents and SAPS working together to fight this scourge and build a safe and secure society for all.
The DA is committed to establishing honest, professional and effective police service, that will ensure there is greater protection for the children of this province,” Stevenson said.