Crime in Cape Town is getting worse

Picture: Matthew Jordaan/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Picture: Matthew Jordaan/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Apr 27, 2019


Cape Town- The City of Cape Town continues to lead in high crime statistics across the country and the latest State of Urban Safety Report shows that there has been no improvement.

The father of three young boys aged between 6 and 16, Gerald Nomlala had first-hand experience of crime when he was attacked by two armed men while sleeping in his Khayelitsha home.

Nomlala, 48, was woken by a knife-wielding man standing over him at around 2am one night in December.

The men gained entry through a double door facing the street and allegedly went straight for the boys’ room and collected cellphones before heading to the main bedroom where Nomlala and his 36-year-old girlfriend were asleep.

According to Nomlala, his partner was woken by a “presence in the room” and she jumped out of bed screaming.

“That is when the one guy came at me with a knife. By then, my oldest son was standing in the bedroom doorway while the other two hid under the bed. The guy immediately stabbed me in the chest, arm, head and leg, but I fought back.”

He sustained four stab wounds before the two armed men made off with two laptops, two hard drives and a number of school shoes Nomlala had been collecting to donate to needy children.

“I was weak, but my youngest son’s words gave me the courage to fight back. Neighbours arrived and the one with a gun fled, but the one with a knife was on the floor as we had been in a scuffle and the neighbours came to my rescue. The man was then hospitalised under police guard,” Nomlala said.

According to the latest State of Urban Safety report, murder, robbery, and non-violent property-related crimes are among the top five crimes, with sexual offences having moved fourth place to third in the 2018/19 report. The top 10 worst precincts in the city recorded a total of 8 976 burglaries at residential addresses in 2018.

The mother of a slain 20-year-old Site C, Khayelitsha, woman is still coming to terms with the brutal rape and murder of her daughter. The 54-year-old single mother broke down in tears when Weekend Argus spoke to her earlier this week to find out how she was holding up.

“I think about her every day. I don’t think one ever gets over the heartache and pain of losing a child. Especially not in the manner in which my Bongiwe was taken,” said Nomlozi Ninini.

The body of her daughter, Bongiwe Ninini, was found in an open drain about 500m from her home. She had been raped, strangled and her skull fractured with a spade.

In 2018, 2 080 sexual offences were recorded in the province’s top 10 worst precincts in the city.

Spokesperson for the Social Justice Coalition Axolile Notywala said the increase in crime in the province was as a result of unfair distribution of law enforcement services, easy access to guns and lack of adequate infrastructure in high crime areas such as Khayelitsha and Nyanga.

“Levels of inequality, unemployment, poverty and a government that does not care about the lives and well being or poor and working class people can be linked to the contributing factors of the high crime rate in Cape Town. Lack of adequate infrastructure and services as reflected in the two townships (Nyanga and Khayelistsha) which are neglected and have many informal settlements that are poorly serviced,” said Notywala.

The 2017/18 Urban Safety report also stated that Cape Town had double the murder rate of the other cities and has seen its murder rate rise since 2009/10, increasing by 40% between 2011/12 and 2015/16.

Weekend Argus

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