SHOCKING statistics on the sexual assault of children in KwaZulu-Natal have been revealed at the Provincial Aids Council meeting. A report presented by district municipalities at the meeting this week show that in five of the 11 districts, attacks on children represented almost half of the new cases reported in the past three quarters. The statistics were measured across three quarters from the fourth quarter of 2012, to the first and second quarter of 2013. The report recorded the number of new sexual assault cases reported and calculated how many of those were perpetrated on children. The top five districts were Amajuba, eThekwini, Ilembe, Uthukela and Umzinyathi. Previous reports have stated uMgungundlovu district has also recorded a high incident rate. While statistics from Amajuba, eThekwini and Ilembe were incomplete, they still painted a grim picture of the threat faced by children. The worst affected district was Uthukela, which had recorded consistent increases in the previous quarters and recorded a dramatic increase in the last quarter. Of the 244 cases that were reported there, 70% of them involved children under 12 as victims. Of the 105 cases reported in Umzinyathi, 48,6 % were children. The first quarter of 2013 showed that in Uthukela 297 cases of sexual assault were reported with 36% of victims being children. In Umzinyathi 50% of the 95 cases reported were child victims. The fourth quarter of 2012 in Amajuba showed that of the 887 new cases, 63,1% were children. In eThekwini 660 cases were recorded with 46,1% being children. In Ilembe 212 cases were recorded, with 44,3% being children. Each mayor delivered a report on the statistics in their areas. Mayor of Umzinyathi, James Mthethwa, said they were concerned with the increase in attacks on children. “ … We need to fight it”. Jeffrey Vilane, mayor of Umkhanyakude district, made a shocking revelation that one of their councillors had been found guilty and sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment for raping a child. Vilane said they still faced a challenge in the reporting of sexual crimes against children because many families take compensation for the crime instead of reporting it to the police. Premier Senzo Mchunu threatened to name and shame mayors who turn a blind eye to such heinous crimes. “ … We never hear that the mayor had organised a march or condemned what had happened … ” he said. “The next time we meet here, we will not just read out the statistics; we will also say this happened in this or that ward and the district mayors in those areas kept quiet,” he said.