Over the span of three weeks there were 1 390 reported murders and attempted murders in South Africa.
This comes as the Western Cape Serious and Violent Crimes Unit arrested two suspects, aged 26 and 46, following the murder of a woman in Strand on Monday.
The 41-year-old woman from the City’s environmental health department was gunned down at about 8.15am in the parking area of a Strand municipal building.
The suspect fled the scene in a white Opel Astra.
“Several witness statements were obtained and a vehicle used by the suspect was identified. The vehicle was tested on the system and positively identified at a premises in Site C Khayelitsha.
The vehicle was confiscated and booked in as an exhibit at Stikland. At the time of her death, the deceased was working for the City of Cape Town Health Department. Her husband was shot and killed in Qumbu, Eastern Cape, in October 2023,” said police spokesperson FC Van Wyk.
The suspects were expected to appear in the Strand Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday on a charge of murder.
Police on Tuesday said they had recorded 8 001 grievous bodily harm (GBH) crimes, which was the leading offence among all crimes committed between December 17 last year and January 7.
Further to this, 1 252 incidents of rape and 2 812 common assault crimes were reported. There were also 3 973 people found in possession of drugs.
These were the grim statistics shared by the national police ministry on Tuesday, with national commissioner Fannie Masemola adding that more than 40 000 people were arrested.
“It is encouraging to note that from the peak of the holiday season in December to January 7, police have strengthened their crime-combating efforts resulting in 49 534 arrests for various crimes. To date, more than 61 051 patrols were conducted and this will continue and be intensified as people start migrating back to their workplaces and back to school for learners.
“More than 3 330 roadblocks and vehicle checkpoints working jointly with local, provincial and national traffic police and the department of health were conducted.
The focus remains on tracing wanted suspects, detecting illegal and unwanted firearms, drugs and illicit goods, drunken driving suspects and stolen and hijacked vehicles,” said Masemola.
The arrest of four men accused of killing four people in Soshanguve on New Year’s Day and the arrest in the Gugulethu triple murders were noted as highlights.
Three mass shootings were meanwhile reported in the first week of 2024.
“We thank our communities for working closely with us during this festive period to prevent crime and trace wanted criminals by sharing tipoffs.
“Our police officers remain on the ground to ensure that we heighten visibility as it is anticipated that there will be a lot of movement on our roads. We will also monitor the release of the matric exams that will take place the same week as the opening of schools”, said Masemola.