In 2011 I wrote an article on the horrific scourge of rape in our beautiful country, the Rape Capital of the World, South Africa. In the past year and a half, nothing has changed. We only decided to talk about it a little more after the gang rape, mutilation and murder of Anene Booysen. We thought that after this horrific incident, which made worldwide news, that we would have a similar public outcry as what is happening in India. Alas, our outcry was the equivalent to throwing a pebble in a dam, the ripple created in the last two weeks has already subsided and has now been overshadowed by the Oscar Pistorius’ trial by media.
The harsh reality
For those of you who missed the ripple, let me remind you of how big a problem rape is in South Africa:
Every second of every day a woman, man or child is being raped.
No, that is not an attempt to over exaggerate, that is the situation we face. Over 65,000 cases are reported to the SAPS each year. It’s estimated by various independent sources that as little as 4% of rapes are reported. That means 1,625,000 rapes per year; 4,450 per day; 185 per hour; 3 per minute = every 20 seconds. Interpol estimated in 2011 that rape occurs every 17 seconds BUT shockingly this number excluded child victims. The number of reported rapes has reduced slightly but how on earth can we live in a country where someone is raped every 20 seconds and do NOTHING about it?
Since the Oscar tragedy
In a week since the morning of Valentine’s day:
· 100 year old partially blind woman raped in the Eastern Cape
· Six black men rape white male in alleged racist attack
· Teenage girl gang raped by 14 illegal miners
· 6 year old girl raped at her school in the Eastern Cape
This is the country we live in! Zuma does not mind. The leadership does not mind. Do we?