Challenges with rape cases

Leoni Kruger
LEPHALALE – It was reported at the meeting of the Community Policing Forum (CPF) held on Thursday 20 April that the whole country faces an excessive number of rape cases.
According to the Lephalale SAPS, they face a major challenge, especially in the villages, when someone lays a charge of rape. When the time comes for prosecution, the complainant reports that the incident was only part of a family quarrel, disagreement or domestic differences.
Thys Eloff, chairperson of the CPF, said that a domestic difference is very far from rape and that the community should understand that. “Rape is forced sexual encounter without consent” he said. “If rape takes place during a quarrel, it is still sex without consent, but the challenge is to address the real problem” he continued.
If someone lays a charge of rape only to withdraw the case, it must be investigated.
There are cases when the complainant lays a charge and after a few days the suspect convinces her to withdraw the case against him. “How do we explain to Province that there were six cases of rape reported but actually it was not rape?” Eloff asked. “It places the SAPS in a very bad light” he concluded.

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