The prevalence of rape in communities was one of the driving forces behind establishing support centres. Many cases were not reported, and when they were, perpetrators were often not convicted because of insufficient evidence, improper statements and other errors.

Coordinators dealt with 50 incidents of rape in 2011, which made up 0.9% of all cases. The number of cases has fallen steadily in the last ten years, from 915 in 2003.

Clients are told to report rape to the police, and are helped with writing statements and taking forensic tests. Coordinators ensure that the police and court officials involved treat the victims with sensitivity, and they are counselled, comforted by staff and assured of confidentiality. When the case goes to court, clients are informed about what to expect and the legal procedures to be followed, and are kept informed on the progress of their case. 

“Before the support centres, when someone came in to report a rape, there was no privacy and others overheard.”

- CCJ Director Winnie Kubayi

Dineo Moshoeshoe, August 2008:

Marital Rape - Very Scared Abusive Husband Begs for Withdrawal of Case

On the 28.08.08 a 24 year old woman was brought to the centre by the police. She was from Shayamoya. She was crying uncontrollably and had hiccups. She is from Lesotho and came to South Africa in 2005. She had not learnt isiZulu well and is not fluent in English.

Marital rapeShe had been raped and assaulted by her husband to whom she is married by customary law. While he was raping her, the children, an 8 year old boy and a 3 year old girl, were locked outside.

I provided comfort and counselling for my client. She was relieved to talk to someone who speaks her language i.e. Sesotho. I assisted the police with the opening of a docket. She was taken to the district surgeon for an examination.

The Rape Unit detective assured me that her husband will be arrested overnight so there would be no need for me to arrange for a place of safety for my client. My client was reluctant to go to the safe house, the reason being the language barrier. She said to me people laugh at her sometimes because she cannot speak isiZulu very well.

The suspect was arrested. I went to the holding cells to speak to him. He was crying and asking me to tell his wife to withdraw the case. I told him that the laws of this country really do protect women and that I could not tell his wife to withdraw the case. The case is pending at the court. Rape cartoon


“The coordinators have patience, they care, and they have love. They realise people’s rights and

they do not make empty promises. These are the people we want to lead us to demand our rights”.


- Respondent, 2009 Monitoring Study

Happiness Mthalane, May-June 2008: 

Rapist Arrested and Denied Bail

On 20th May a 19 year old woman came to my office with her mother to report that she had been abducted and raped by a man known to her because he had completed matric at her school.
Rape cartoon
She said that on her way home on 17th May she had encountered the perpetrator and he said he wanted to talk to her. She refused to stop and so he came closer, pulled her out of the road and forced her to go to his home where he locked her in his room. That night he raped her and left her in the locked room. He came back that night and raped her again. On Monday 18.05.008 he let her go. She told her mother who took her to the police who referred her to the centre.

I obtained a statement to open the case, took her to the hospital, gave her counselling and referred the case back to the police. The suspect was arrested and denied bail.



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