Picture: 123RF/Artit Oubkaew
Picture: 123RF/Artit Oubkaew

Children were victims of more than 40% of all rape cases recorded in the past three financial years.

The DA said a parliamentary reply from the police minister also noted that only 21% of child rape cases resulted in successful conviction.

The party had asked the police minister in August 2017 to disclose the number of child murders and child rapes that took place in the 2014-15‚ 2015-16 and 2016-17 financial years.

The party also asked how many investigations into these cases had led to successful convictions for child murder and child rape.

A reply received last week showed that there were 2,689 child murders during this period and only 948 successful convictions.

The reply also showed there were 50,926 child rape cases during that period and only 10,653 convictions.

The DA asked what weapons were used in the children’s murders. The police replied that a variety of weapons were used‚ with knives and guns featuring prominently in the commission of the murders.

"These statistics are disturbing at the very least and likely to worsen given the numerous crises within the South African Police Service leadership‚" said Zakhele Mbhele‚ DA police spokesperson.

He said the brutal manner in which these children were murdered was also frightening. "Weapons used include firearms‚ axes‚ spades‚ pangas‚ hammers‚ belts and poison — many of these children were practically butchered to death‚" Mbhele said.

He said it was clear that without political will‚ the police would to continue to fail in its mandate to ensure the reduction of the country’s unacceptably high levels of crime‚ especially against children.