Cele praises progress made in gender-based violence crimes

Police Minister Bheki Cele joined by Hawks Heard Godfrey Lebeya and Deputy Police Minister Cassel Mathale during the release of the third-quarter crime statistics on Friday. Picture: GCIS

Police Minister Bheki Cele joined by Hawks Heard Godfrey Lebeya and Deputy Police Minister Cassel Mathale during the release of the third-quarter crime statistics on Friday. Picture: GCIS

Published Feb 19, 2024


On the day Police Minister Bheki Cele noted the tide was turning against crime, a man convicted of stabbing his ex-girlfriend 14 times with a knife in Marydale, Northern Cape, was handed a 22-year prison sentence.

The Northern Cape High Court in Kimberley sentenced Dawid Baster, 49, to 20 years for murder and two years for housebreaking with the intent to commit an offence.

Meanwhile, on the same day, a 46-year-old Mpumalanga woman was shot dead, allegedly by her partner, on Friday. He was arrested on Saturday after handing himself over to the police.

Detailing the incident, Mpumalanga police spokesperson Donald Mdhluli said: “According to a report, the suspect made a surprise visit at the residential place of the woman. The woman’s child is said to have left her mother and the suspect arguing (to go to) school. Her mother, who was employed as an SA Revenue Service official, was preparing for work on Friday (at around 6am). On returning from school, she discovered that the door to their flat was surprisingly locked.

“The neighbours tried to assist in gaining entry after suspecting something sinister could have happened to the woman. It was during this time when they discovered that the woman was motionless, had sustained gunshot wounds and was in a pool of blood.”

In the Marydale case, Baster kicked open the door to his ex-girlfriend Elmarie van Wyk’s house at the Zwelitsha informal settlement and murdered her on October 13, 2021, according to Northern Cape police spokesperson Sergio Kock.

Baster was arrested hours later. Hailing detective Lowellen Smit, of Marydale, for his meticulous investigation, Northern Cape police commissioner Koliswa Otola reiterated that gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) remained a priority crime for the SAPS, and officers will continue to sharpen their responses to crimes against the most vulnerable in society.

Briefing the media on the third-quarter crime statistics (October 1 to December 31, 2023), Cele expressed concern that most GBVF cases had occurred in the residences of the victims.

He said 4 264 suspects were arrested for GBVF crimes, such as rape and sexual assault.

“The fight against GBVF crimes remains a priority for our men and women in blue and that is why we are encouraged to report that all our sexual offence crimes, including rape sexual assault and contact sexual offences all registered an overall 1.7% decline during this period.

Rape declined by 1.7% and six provinces including Gauteng, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Northern Cape and Western Cape all registered a decline in this crime category.”

He said they were encouraged that more awareness programmes were being conducted by the SAPS’s social crime prevention and Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units (FCS), which translates to an increase in the reporting of these crimes.

“In the life imprisonment category, 112 life sentences were handed down to 89 rapists and GBVF perpetrators; 64 rapists and GBVF perpetrators were each handed 20 years and above imprisonment sentences; 172 rapists and GBVF perpetrators were handed 10 to 19 years’ imprisonment; 261 rapists and GBVF perpetrators were given one to nine years’ imprisonment.

“What is most encouraging is that Inanda, which has always been known as the rape capital of the country, has also seen a slight reduction in the number of rape cases by registering 20 counts lower than the same period under review.

“This goes to show that our FCS teams are proving to be acting decisively against those who are perpetrating rape crimes.”

Cape Times