Date: Jul 31, 2020

South Africa: Government must act with utmost urgency on gender-based violence

In reaction to the publication of the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) annual crime statistics report today, Shenilla Mohamed, Executive Director of Amnesty International South Africa, said:

“It is alarming and disheartening to see that the total number of sexual offences has increased by 1.7%, with sexual assault increasing by 4.2% and 706 more people raped in South Africa over the last year. This cannot be tolerated. Urgent action is needed to ensure the statistics do not continue to rise. It is also important to note that these are cases that have been reported to the police, and one could surmise that there are more victims and survivors than the official figures.  

According to Stats SA’s Crime Against Women in South Africa report, almost 68.5% of sexual offences are committed against women, so one could deduct that the majority of the survivors and victims of sexual offences in the year 2019 to 2020 were women and girls.

Enough is enough. Immediate and significant government action to end gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) is needed without any further delays. South Africa’s war on women and girls must be stopped, and it must be stopped now.”


The South African Police Service (SAPS) released its 2019/2020 Crime Statistics report today, outlining crime numbers from the last decade.

Amnesty International South Africa is demanding justice for victims of GBVF and their families by calling on the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, to:

  • Ensure police are gathering evidence in a constitutional manner and are accountable in accordance with the law.
  • Ensure police follow timely and due process during investigations. 
  • Ensure there is no further impunity for cases of femicide or gender-based violence.
  • Ensure that corruption amongst police, also in cases of femicide and gender-based violence, is no longer tolerated.
  • Ensure that police are trained to sensitively and objectively investigate incidents of gender-based violence. 

Add your voice and take action here.

For more information or to request an interview, please contact: 

Mienke Steytler, Media and Digital Content Officer, Amnesty International South Africa: +27 (0) 64 890 9224;