Eastern Cape - Reported rape cases in the Eastern Cape tripled this year compared with 2009, according to a report on Friday.

A total of 4,026 rape cases were opened in 2009-2010, the Dispatch Online reported. The number increased to 8,616 in 2010-2011.

The number has reached 12,451 during the 2011-12 financial year, ending March 2012, said social development superintendent-general Bea Hackula on Thursday.

Hackula released the police statistics during the department’s gender-based violence conference at the International Conference Centre in East London

“There is not necessarily more abuse. (The stats are) an indication that more people have broken their silence. For so long women and girls suffered in silence and did not report rape.

“But because of awareness campaigns more people now report rape cases, hence the rise in statistics,” she was quoted saying. - Sapa