#CrimeStats: Cele puts 'heads on block'
Parliament - Police Minister Bheki Cele on Tuesday said he was putting the heads of the SA Police Service (SAPS) management team on the block following dismal crime statistics showing another upward trend in the murder rate in South Africa.
"The minister of police and SA Police Service should put their heads on the block in that this situation must be arrested with the swiftness it deserves and it must be reversed with lightning speed," Cele said after he and SAPS management presented the crime statistics to Parliament.
"The worst thing we can do, which cannot be done in my tenure in this office, is to come and give the same crime stats next year or worse to what we've currently done."
The stats revealed the total number of murders recorded by the SA Police Service (SAPS) from April 1, 2017, to March 31 2018 were 20,366 compared to 19,016 reported in the previous year.
Cele earlier told MPs this translated into an average 57 people being killed in South Africa every day.
Attempted murders were also on the rise, increasing 0.2 percent from 18,205 to 18,233, representing a year-on-year increase of 0.2 percent.
The number of sexual offences reported to the police increased 0.9 percent or by 448 to 50,108 cases in 2017/18 compared to the previous financial year.
According to the state, 207 more rapes were reported than the previous year, with a total of 40,035 rapes reported.
Other contact crimes, which include assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm (GBH) (down 1.9 percent), assault common (down 0.1 percent), robbery with aggravating circumstances (down 1.8 percent) and common robbery (down 5 percent) saw a downward trend.
Cele said the murder figure was akin to that of a "war zone", and admitted the crime statistics were dismal.
"The SA Police Service will declare upfront that somewhere, somehow we dropped the ball," he said.
Cele said the focus now should not be on casting blame for the increase in murders, but on how they could "collectively pick up the ball".
African News Agency/ANA