Durban - Childline KZN says it is not surprised that the Inanda, uMlazi and Empangeni police stations were ranked among the 30 stations in the country with the highest numbers of sexual offences.
Operations manager Adeshini Naicker said their social workers were finding it hard to cope with the volume of cases coming from these stations, and with giving each victim sufficient time.
“Those offices are our busiest. In uMlazi we are at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital, in Empangeni we are at Ngwelezane Hospital, in Inanda we are at Ohlange Child Welfare as well as at the Department of Social Development offices.
“Our social workers are inundated at these offices,” said Naicker.
Thursday's crime stats showed that there was an increase in sexual offences from 50108 in 2017/18 to 52420 in 2018/19 nationally.
Provincially, the figure grew from 8759 in 2017/18 to 9308 in 2018/19, an increase of 6.3%.
Inanda and uMlazi were ranked among the police stations with the most sexual offence cases, a situation that has persisted since 2014.
The number of rapes increased nationally from 40035 in 2017/18 to 41583 in 2018/19, an increase of 3.9%, with KZN recording a 5.9% increase from 7243 in 2017/18 to 7667 in 2018/19 with 5895 women and 674 men raped in KZN.
Naicker said the stats were disheartening, taking into consideration the violent crimes against women and children in the past weeks.
“We have all done so much reacting and responding to these crimes, but somehow it seems it’s not enough,” she said.
Nationally in 2018/19 a total of 11861 women, 1074 males between the ages of 20-29 and 285 children up to the age of 9 were reported to have been raped.
There was an increase in sexual offences against children, with 24387 children abused, a 3.8% increase.
Two children from Inchanga are part of the increased figure - a 9-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy who are alleged to have been raped on the same day and within hours of each other by truck driver Zwelithini Zuma, who has been on the run for a year.
Zuma is alleged to have first raped the boy, whom he dropped off in his marked company truck near a house into which he allegedly walked wielding a knife and raped a girl in the presence of another girl, aged 7. A relative of the girl yesterday said that not enough was being done to track down Zuma, who she believed should have never been granted bail.
“It hurts that he is still out there; they have to find him. We are not just fearful for our children, but others out there, too.”
Zuma has been linked to six other rape cases, some dating back to 2016 in the areas of Mariannhill, KwaNdengezi and Mpumalanga.
Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane confirmed that Zuma was still at large.
Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza said these were upsetting and unpleasant statistics that pointed to the crisis the province and country faced.
“It is disheartening to know that these statistics point out that we are a nation crippled by crime. The murder, rape, and abuse of vulnerable groups, especially women and children, indicates that we need to work together and even harder to fight crime,” she said.
Khoza said the department had a number of programmes aimed at tackling the problem, including victim empowerment programmes.
“We call on our communities not to be quiet when experiencing any form of abuse. Our government has introduced a number of laws to ensure that all those involved in this horrific behaviour get arrested and sentenced for longer times in prison,” she said.