File picture: SAPS Twitter

Johannesburg - The South African Police Service (SAPS) remains concerned about the role played by alcohol and drug abuse in many sexual offences cases in Gauteng, SAPS said on Sunday.

Although police in Gauteng had intensified operations over the festive season to deal with liquor-related offences, resulting in the closure of more than 30 illegal outlets for contraventions of the Liquor Act, there was still concern that alcohol and drug abuse had contributed to the number of sexual offences committed since the beginning of this year, Gauteng SAPS spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said.

Twenty-five suspects had been arrested for sexual-related cases, of which 19 were due to appear in various magistrate's courts on Monday. Over the same period, police had also recovered 13 firearms while conducting festive season operations.

Police appealed to the victims of sexual offences to report incidents immediately so that family violence, child protection, and sexual offences (FCS) unit officers could deal with evidence that may lead to the immediate arrest of suspects.

"Some of these offences are committed by family members, relatives, and friends. It is therefore necessary that they must be reported to stop the perpetrators from continuing raping the same victims or others," Dlamini said.

"In one of the gruesome incident at Observatory Koppies, Yeoville [in Johannesburg], a 23-year-old woman was raped and her two-year-old son murdered by the rapist between last Friday and Saturday morning.

"The victim was allegedly promised accommodation by the suspect while she was at the saloon in Bezuidenhout Valley. As they were walking towards Yeoville to see an accommodation, the suspect led the victim and her baby towards an open veld which he told her that was a shortcut to their destination.

"Thereafter the victim was raped repeatedly and assaulted. Her child was also seriously assaulted and died due to the injuries. Police are working around the clock to trace the rapist who is suspected to be around the areas of Yeoville and Jeppestown," Dlamini said.

Continuing operations in Sophiatown [also in Johannesburg] over the past three days had resulted in the arrest of eight suspects found in possession of drugs. Three other suspects were arrested for domestic-related offences and would be charged with common assault, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and domestic violence when they appeared in the Sophiatown Magistrate's Court on Monday. Intensified deployments to deal with gang-related crimes and drugs were continuing in the area, Dlamini said.

African News Agency/ANA