File picture

Cape Town - Rape statistics may be down, but a woman is still raped every 10 minutes in South Africa, the African Christian Democratic Party said on Thursday.

The unacceptably high levels of rape in the country were still very concerning, ACDP national chairwoman Jo Ann Downs said.

She was commenting on South Africa’s crime statistics for 2011/2012 released at Parliament by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

“The decrease in rape, by 1.9 percent, comes off a high base of around 57,000 reported incidents and this is still too many,” said Downs.

A much larger decrease in rape had been expected following the re-introduction of the family violence, child protection, and sexual offences units.

“Rape is still generally under-reported by victims, meaning that the number of incidents may not have dropped at all or may have even increased. This is of huge concern to us,” Downs said.

It was common knowledge that women reporting rape cases often faced difficulties and that incompetence and negligence on the part of police in this regard resulted in many unreported or uninvestigated rape cases.

“Also, it is one thing to produce statistics on incidents of crimes, but this gives no indication as to whether or not the perpetrators are being caught and incarcerated.”

Crime statistics needed to be linked to conviction rates to show whether the various facets of the problem were being adequately addressed or not. - Sapa