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June a terrible month for women, says Cele ahead of crime stats announcement

Police Minister Bheki Cele warned that the lockdown period had increased the number of domestic abuse cases as many women and children found themselves stuck in their homes.

Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: @GovernmentZA/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - While a clearer picture on the number of reported gender-based violence (GBV) cases is expected on Friday morning, Police Minister Bheki Cele on Thursday said that June was the worst month for women in the country.

Cele is expected to release the 2019/2020 statistics at a briefing in Pretoria.

The police publish the country’s crime statistics yearly, indicating the types of criminal activities, which have either increased or decreased.

While speaking at the launch of Women’s Month on Thursday, Cele said that GBV was a shameful reflection on men.

“The month of June, for some reason, was a terrible month. We lost almost 29 women in one month,” Cele said.

On 4 June, the murder of 28-year-old Tshegofatso Pule, who was eight months pregnant, shocked the country and made news headlines internationally.

That same month, police discovered the bodies of two women found in the south of Joburg a few days apart - one of them was found stuffed in a bag on the side of the Golden Highway.

Cele said that police had made arrests in the majority of the femicide cases reported in June.

“For some reason, when a woman is killed, it’s not the first time we hear that the woman was in danger,” he said.

The minister said that in most of these cases, the women had a relationship with their killers.

‘NOT VERY ROSY’

“Not very rosy”. That was how Cele described the crime statistics last year. Then, the number of murders in South Africa had increased from 20,336 in 2017/2018 to 21,22 murders during the last period. That means that 58 people were murdered on average daily.

With the country still battling to contain the high rates of sexual abuse against women and children, the number of reported crimes in the category increased to 52,420 from 2018 to 2019.

That is in comparison to 50,108 cases in the preceding year, with the police confirming that most of these crimes were cases of rape.

Cele warned that the lockdown period had increased the number of domestic abuse cases as many women and children found themselves stuck in their homes.

The new statistics cover the period from April 2019 to March 2020.

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