The newly released crime statistics for South Africa came as a shock to say the least. While even the last person in South Africa has by now realised that the government is absent in almost all portfolios, busy campaigning for the up-coming elections to protect the golden cow they have milked for decades now. But what was a fact duly noted in every aspect of administration, municipal management and idiotic drafts of new legislation without any proper research, turned now a corner and came very close to everyone’s life and health!
Police Minister Bheki Cele himself was still shaken, when reporting the latest crime figures that show a 6.9% increase in murder over the 2017/2018 period, an estimated 20,336 people were killed during the period, 1,320 more than the previous year, and 40,035 were raped. Cele stated that those figures are “nothing to write home about,” adding that rather than dwelling on the stats themselves the “emphasis is on what’s to be done.” Cele further said that according to the stats, 57 South Africans were murdered every day. He said that South Africa is close to a “war zone” and also admitted that the SAPS had “dropped the ball” for things to get to that level.
Just another government department, which has stopped operating?
The minister of police expressed shock, saying that “never again” should such a high crime rate be recorded and noted the fear and stress that South Africans live under. It was then up to the head of police crime research and statistics Norman Sekhukhune to go through the numbers, which cover the period from April 1 2017 to March 31 2018. He says that in total over two million counts of serious crime were reported during the period.
According to Sekhukhune, 79.3% of crimes in the 2017/2018 period were reported by the community, with the meek remainder of only 20.3% brought to light as a result of police work. Cash-in-transit heists, a common occurrence currently, have unsurprisingly increased from 137 cases in the 2015/2016 period to 238 in the past year. Bank robberies and truck hijackings are also on the rise. As well as murder, sexual offences and attempted murder have increased. Assault and common robbery have lessened over the period.
*Gauteng* is the province in which the most crimes were reported over the period. Sekhukhune reported a worrying trend in the form of multiple murders in areas such as the *Western Cape* where gang violence is rife. A total of 808 gang-related crimes were reported in the *Western Cape* over the period, with 87 having taken place in the *Eastern Cape*. While the Western Cape is the worst province in terms of gang-related murders, Gauteng has the most taxi-related murders as well as the most mob justice. According to Sekhukhune, 2017/2108 saw 62 farm murders take place, with *Gauteng* (12) followed by the *North West* (9) and *Limpopo* (9) and then *Free State* (8) and *Mpumalanga* (8) as the provinces worst affected.
Murders of women and children have tragically increased. 291 more women, 117 more boys and 29 more girls were killed in the period than the previous year. Sekhukhune also noted that police killings contributed to the murder statistics. Firearms are the weapons most used to commit murder, accounting for half the death toll.
Cele’s shock was shared by police committee chair Francois Beukman. “What is quite important to note is that the murder increase of 6.9% is really alarming and totally unacceptable,” he said, adding that “violent crime is indeed a clear and present danger to all South Africans.” According to Beukman, “a clear and strategic response” is needed.
And there we are again: Politicians “are concerned” and “shocked”, well maybe time to resign and leave their well-paid jobs to a new more motivated, focussed and effective generation? Elections are coming up, last chance to relieve the incompetent government of its unattended duties!