Mossel Bay Kwanonqaba Rape

Photo: Pixabay

Here’s how many SA police stations are “unequipped” to deal with rape cases

Consider this an eye-opener. The lack of “rape kits” across the board in South Africa is another barrier to fighting a crime that blights our nation.

Mossel Bay Kwanonqaba Rape

Photo: Pixabay

Although we may be celebrating Women’s Day weekend, the threat of sexual assault remains prevalent in South Africa. Rape and gender-based violence have long been a scar on the face of this country, seriously undermining efforts to imbue an equal and fair society.

On Sunday, a request for information submitted by the DA to the National Police Commissioner was finally provided. It made grim reading for many South African police stations, which are wholly unequipped to deal with cases of rape. The issue is also set for further investigation on Carte Blanche on Sunday evening.

The data provided, and subsequently made public this weekend, shows that many of these venues don’t have “rape kits” in stock. This is the term given to the equipment used to forensically collect evidence from victims, in order to analyse the results and hunt down the criminal(s).

Who are the worst offenders?

Free State comes off particularly bad from the research, too. Only 10% of police stations in the province have the necessary tools to collect evidence from an adult rape victim, and shockingly, just 2.7% of their stations have the kit required to gather forensic data from child victims.

Andrew Whitfield is the DA Shadow Minister of Police. It was his line of inquiry that turfed-up these alarming figures. He confirmed that the party had given Police Minister Bheki Cele 90 days to provide an adequate amount of rape kits across the country, or be held personally responsible for SAPS’ “failure to investigate rape”:

“Without these kits, evidence in reported rape cases cannot be collected, and, without evidence, the ability to successfully prosecute rapists diminishes drastically. The shortage of these kits is a crisis of national importance, which needs to be resolved as a matter of great urgency.”

“It is wholly unacceptable and a damning indictment on the South African Police Service (SAPS) that only a handful of police stations are equipped to successfully gather evidence from victims of rape.”

Andrew Whitfield

Adult rape kits available in South Africa

ProvinceAdult rape kits
Adult rape kits
Percentage of stations
without a rape kit
Eastern Cape10 0001 45785.4%
Free State3 62134090.7%
Gauteng22 5553 96582.5%
KZN12 7675 36858%
Limpopo3 0001 49451%
Mpumalanga3 7002 86722.6%
North West3 50088374.8%
Northern Cape2 46778468.3%
Western Cape5 2071 08379.2%
TOTAL68 54218 24173 – 76%

  • Around three in four stations in South Africa “do not have adult rape kits”
  • Mpumalanga is the best performer, as 78% of its stations have the right tools.
  • Behind Free State, the Eastern Cape is the next-worst performer. Less than one in seven stations have rape kits.

Child rape kits available in South Africa

ProvinceChild rape kits
Child rape kits
Percentage of stations
without a rape kit
Eastern Cape10 0002 64273.%
Free State12 51634097.3%
Gauteng11 2003 965 64.4%
KZN8 9246 69625%
Limpopo4 0005 805Stations well-equipped
Mpumalanga2 6155 317Stations well-equipped
North West3 0001 38354%
Northern Cape1 95243277.9%
Western Cape4 58472984.1%
TOTAL59 50625 46458 – 70%

  • Approximately two-thirds of stations in South Africa do not have adequate facilities for child rape cases.
  • Mpumalanga and Limpopo actually have a surplus of these kits.
  • This time, the Western Cape is in the bottom two with Free State. Just 16% of the province’s stations have the child-centric equipment.