More than 4,500 women reported missing in SA in just three years

More than 4,500 women were reported missing in SA over three years.
More than 4,500 women were reported missing in SA over three years.
Image: Supplied

A frightening 4,512 women were reported to be missing in SA in the three years between April 2016 and March 2019.

Police minister Bheki Cele revealed in a written response to a parliamentary question that 1,206 women were reported missing in the country in 2016/17. The number shot up to 1,481 in 2017/18, and again increased to 1,825 women being reported missing in 2018/19.

The question was posed by DA MP Nomsa Tarabella Marchesi.

Fewer children were reported missing during the same period, at 2,706 over the three years – with 967 having gone missing in 2018/19, 852 in 2017/18 and 887 in 2016/17.

Cele's response revealed that an overwhelming majority, almost 80%, of the total number of women who were reported missing were Africans (3,598). White women made up 258 of the cases, coloured women 595 and Indian women 63.

Cele's response also showed that most of the cases involved women under 30, and there was a high incidence of cases involving 18-year-olds.

Children between the ages of 12 and 17 were more likely to go missing than were babies and toddlers. For instance, in the 2018/19 financial year, only 25 children between the ages of one and five were reported missing, but 342 children between 12 and 17 went missing during the same period.

In many of the cases reported, the ages of the women and children were unknown.