Delusions, madness, and statistics


I give you the fifth edition of the Development Indicators that were approved by the South African Cabinet in March 2012, published by the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, published on the Presidency’s website.

According to which South Africa’s conviction rate for rape was 71.7% in 2011.

On whose planet? In which universe? What drugs haves these guys been mainlining? Have they being playing a lot of contact sports recently, without helmets? Did someone steal the calculators, again? Can we please stop smoking the aspadistras?

Lilly Artz from the University of Cape Town says that in South Africa, rape has one of the lowest conviction rates of all serious crimes, with research indicating that only about ten per cent of reported rapes receive guilty verdicts (SALC 1999). The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development figures also show that of more than 54 000 cases of rape reported in 1998, fewer than seven per cent were prosecuted.

Of course, they just don’t prosecute unless chances of a conviction are pretty good. But the basis on which the Presidency is planning is that 71.7% of rapes resulted in conviction.  I see.

I have to go and lie down now, in a darkened room.


(Photo Credit: On Being / DFID / Flickr)