The South African Police Service has come under fire after the release of the latest crime statistics. Picture: Gary van Wyk
The release of the latest crime statistics - showing murder has increased by 1.8% - has seen the DA taking shots at the SAPS.

The party accused the SAPS of suffering from “chronic under-training, under-staffing, under resourcing and under-equipping”, which it coined as the four Us.

But the ANC welcomed the release of the statistics, saying it showed the government’s crime-fighting efforts bore fruit.

ANC caucus spokesperson Nonceba Mhlauli said even though there was a decline in some crimes, crime fighting remained one of the party’s top priorities.

“We are confident that the government will indeed continue to deepen its progressive crime-fighting strategies to ensure that South Africans are not only safe but also feel safe,” said Mhlauli.

The police’s crime statistics, released yesterday showed that nationally murder was up by 1.8%, from 51 per day to 52.

Carjackings were up by 14.5%, from 41 to 46 a day, with car hijackings having almost tripled in Mpumalanga.

Residential robberies increased by over 7%.

Non-residential robberies increased by 5%; cash-in-transit heists almost tripled in two years.

Stock theft increased by almost 9%; illegal possession of firearms increased by over 9%; and, drug-related crime was up by almost 13%.

DA spokesperson on police Zakhele Mbhele slammed the statistics as “shockingly revealing that violent and organised crime tragically continues to increase and there have been 52 murders, 109 rapes and 46 hijacking victims every day in South Africa”.

Mbhele said the figures reveal the SAPS’ inability to tackle organised crime and syndicates due to a lack of skilled investigative capacity, to ensure high detection and conviction rates.

“The four Us combined with poor leadership, low professionalism and weak accountability in the police service all mean that the SAPS is unable to successfully bring crime down,” said Mbhele.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula expressed unhappiness at the figures, saying these revealed the “lazy efforts” of police officers.

“This increase is too small and indicative of the lazy efforts by the police to detect such crime, in order to make South Africa a safer place to live in” said Mbalula.

“Yes, we have a 1.8% drop in crime, I do not feel it, and our people do not feel it, and they are correct.

"We have a drop in sexual violence, but we have more and more pictures of our women going missing. People must feel the drop in crime where they live,” said Mbalula.

EFF national spokesperson, Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, also blasted the statistics as glossing over the real crime issues.

“These statistics rely on reported cases to the police stations in our country. Thus, they only give a limited idea of the levels of crime and not the true picture of crime in South Africa,” said Ndlozi.

Crimes of sexual assault, in particular against children, are under-represented by these statistics for the obvious reason that many victims do not report to the police, he said.

“The statistics that matter if we are to restore public confidence and trust in our police, are those of resolving reported crimes.

"This includes efficiency in terms of speed and precision. Our police are among the most unprofessional, inefficient and unreliable public servants with little ability to investigate and combat crime,” he said.

Political Bureau