Concern as KZN, EC record double-digit increases in murder rate
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Durban - KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape have recorded double-digit increases in its murder rate, Minister of Police, Bheki Cele revealed at the latest quarterly National Crime Statistics briefing on Friday.
While there had been an overall decline of 8.5% in Contact Crimes such as Assault GBH, Sexual Offences, Common Assault and Robbery and Robbery with aggravating circumstances between January 1 and the end of March 2021, Cele said it was concerning that murder and attempted murder were up.
In KZN the overall murder rate jumped by 16.9% while in the Eastern Cape the overall murder rate showed a 21.5% spike.
A total 4 976 people were killed in the first three months of 2021, Cele said - 387 more when compared to the corresponding period in the previous financial year.
The Mpumalanga province recorded the same number of murders as in the corresponding period in the previous financial year. The Mpumalanga province is joined by Limpopo, Free State and Northern Cape in recording decreases in their murder cases.
“However it is concerning that the Eastern Cape and the KwaZulu-Natal provinces recorded double digit increases…” Cele said.
“Unfortunately, 1327 people died in the places of residence of either the victim or the perpetrator, including the homes of family friends and neighbours. In some instances, these people could have had some kind of domestic relationship.
“From a sample of 4 911 murders, A total of 2 378 people were killed in public places like streets, open field, recreational parks, beaches and abandoned buildings,” he said.
Cele said the top four causative factors of these murders still remain arguments, robberies, both residential and non-residential and street robberies, mob justice and gang-related incidents.
Also alarming was the fact that 24 police officers were killed over the three month reporting period.
Cele said the murder of police officers was “ a crisis that is unfolding and has the potential to threaten the country’s peace and stability”.
Eleven of the police officers that were killed, were killed on duty while preventing, combating or solving a crime.
“Some were attacked or ambushed while conducting patrols and their official firearms stolen,” Cele said.