Police minister Bheki Cele. Picture: JACKIE CLAUSEN
Police minister Bheki Cele. Picture: JACKIE CLAUSEN

There was a 3.4% increase in murders in the financial year to end-March, bringing the total for the year to 21,022, according to the police recorded crime statistics released on Thursday.

Police minister Bheki Cele told members of parliament’s police portfolio committee that the statistics were “not rosy”, with increases being recorded in all the major crimes such as murder, sexual offences and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

The minister said the murders by people who were known by the victims had increased significantly.

The murder rate per 100 000 of the population has increased from 35,8 in 2017/18 to 36,4 in 2018/19.

DA police spokesperson Andrew Whitfield said the statistics were a cause for grave concern while DA MP Ockert Terblanche said the murder statistics were “very alarming”.

Maj-Gen Norman Sekhukhune, the national head of crime statistics, noted in his briefing to MPs that there were 686 more murders in 2018 compared to the previous year.

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Sexual offences, which include rape, increased by 4.6%, or 2,312 more cases than the previous year, bringing the total cases recorded to 52,420 cases.

A total of 18,980 cases of attempted murder were reported, a 4.1% increase — 747 cases — over the previous year.

There were 170,979 cases of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, a 2.2% increase (3,627 cases), over the previous year.

With regard to common assault, a total of 162,012 cases were reported, a 3.7% increase (5,769 cases) over the 2017/2018 financial year.

Between April 1 2018 and March 31, 21,022 people were murdered in SA, while 52,420 were victims of sexual offences. Here are the 2018/2019 crime stats for murder, rape and car hijacking.

A total of 51,765 cases of common robbery were reported, a 2% increase (1,035 cases) over the previous year.

There was a 1.2% increase (1,668)  in the number of cases of robbery with aggravating circumstances, bringing the total to 140,000. Robbery with aggravating circumstances includes incidents at residential and non-residential properties, cash-in-transit heists, car hijackings, truck hijackings, bank robberies and robbery with a weapon other than a firearm.

With regard to robbery with aggravating circumstances the only increase was recorded in residential robberies which rose by 0,8%.

Sekhukhune noted 1,014 cases of murder against children, an increase of 29 cases over the previous year. Sexual offences against children increased by 899 cases.

ensorl@businesslive.co.za