Police minister Bheki Cele has released the latest crime stats, which show that from July to September this year crime levels remained high. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
Police minister Bheki Cele has released the latest crime stats, which show that from July to September this year crime levels remained high. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

SA’s murder rate has only decreased in the Western Cape in the past few months, according to the latest crime statistics.

Speaking at a briefing on Friday, police minister Bheki Cele said this was because the province had been prioritised and the most resources had been delegated to the area. This, he said, was evidence police were winning the battle to reduce crime there.

But, he added, “the stats show once again that SA is a very violent country”, citing high numbers of murder, assault, rape and robbery cases.

The latest figures cover July to September. During this time, he said the country recorded 5,876 murders. Of these, 1,334 happened at the homes of the victims, while 2,424 people were killed in public places and 444 at taverns, nightclubs and shebeens. Fifteen people were murdered on farms, plots or smallholdings.

KwaZulu-Natal rated highest for the number of murders, followed by the Western Cape.

“Overall, contact crimes increased by 1% on the previous three-month period, but it is a 10% decrease on the figures we were experiencing before lockdown.”

He said liquor and domestic violence were found to have been involved in most rape cases, and Lusikisiki and Inanda remained the areas where most rapes were reported.

“With almost 10,000 people brutalised and sexually violated in just three months, this is not good. Often it is done by people the victims know and trust, and it happens in their own homes.”

Cele said it was encouraging that victims and survivors had access to rape kits as police had managed to keep all police stations stocked, and gender-based violence desks were being rolled out. So far 134 were in operation and the goal was to have one at every station.

He said between July and September there were 2,000 kidnappings reported in the country, most of them linked to hijacking, robbery or rape cases.

“Out of a sample of 658 cases, 52 were ransom-related. Most happened in Gauteng and seven involved human trafficking,” Cele said.

“The crime picture is not ideal, but these figures show things are getting better in areas where crime was the highest. We responded to that and deployed our people to where they are needed most.”

He assured South Africansthat there had been a reduction in residential robberies.

“We will continue to do more, and we must. More will be done to make South Africans safe.”

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