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Crime stats: Gauteng murder rate rises above national increase

By Samkelo Mtshali, Shaun Smillie Time of article published Feb 20, 2021

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Johannesburg - The crime holiday Joburgers had with the lockdown and the booze ban is officially over as the third quarter of the 2020/2021 national crime statistics shows violent offences are up.

When compared to the same period last year 63 more Gautengers were murdered between October 1 to December 31, 2020.

This is a 7,5 % increase, and is above the national increase of 6,6%.

Police Minister Bheki Cele released the crime statistics for the third quarter yesterday and he had to admit that it made for bleak reading.

“Mpumalanga province recorded the highest increase of 13,7% (murder) when compared to the corresponding period in the previous financial year. Limpopo, North West and Northern Cape provinces recorded a decline in their murder cases. 193 of the murders were as a result of domestic violence,” Cele said.

Minister of Police Bheki Cele at the release of the crime statistics. Picture: GCIS

He said that the top four causative factors of these deaths were arguments, robberies at a household and businesses, mob justice incidents and gang-related killings, with a total of 2 481 people murdered in public places like on the street, open field, parking areas and abandoned buildings.

“1643 murders occurred at the home of the victim or of the perpetrator. While liquor outlets were the third most likely place to be killed in South Africa. Overall, contact crimes committed against a person decreased by 1.4%.

Criminologist Dr Johan Burger said when comparing the statistics it shows that the Covid 19 lockdown shows a corresponding decline in crime levels.

“We saw in the second quarter that criminals were starting to become active again. With the murder rate going up and cash in transit robberies,” he said.

Rape and sex crimes were also up. In Gauteng, there was an increase of 4,6% in rape when compared to the third quarter last year.

“A 5% increase has been recorded for sexual offences detected as a result of police action. 12 218 people were raped between October and December last year. This is an increase of 181 cases, amounting to a 1.5% increase compared to the previous reporting period,” Cele said of the national figures.

He added over 4 900 of the rape incidents took place at the home of the victim or the home of the rapist while 570 were domestic violence-related and 547 rape cases in this category, involved female victims and 23 were males.

Cele said that the townships of Inanda, Umlazi in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape’s Lusikisiki police stations recorded the highest incidents of rape.

“GBV and Femicide remain a priority crime for the SAPS. We are on a daily basis, improving our services and responses, at station level.

“As the SAPS, we are motivated that numerous life sentences have been handed down for crimes committed against women and children. In the three months of reporting, the FCS secured 129 life sentences. I really hope these jail terms also reassure victims of GBV of our efforts as law enforcement to bring them justice,” Cele.

He said that assault figures showed that violence stalks our society, and in many cases, the violence is aggravated by alcohol abuse and that there were 26 more attacks on cash vans in the third quarter while 19 people were killed in 18 incidents of murder which occurred in farms and small holdings.

“50 124 cases of assault were opened with the police in the three months of reporting.

The noticeable areas of occurrence of these assaults are at the home of the victim or perpetrator, public places and liquor outlets,” Cele said.

Burger pointed out that the minister’s response was encouraging.

“The minister did say that the police are failing and that is a very praiseworthy response by the minister. I am happy that he was prepared to say so but now we need to see action,” said Burger. “We need to see that those concerns find expression in a new approach by the police.”

Zandile Majozi, IFP MP and the party’s spokesperson on police, said that the country cannot move forward when it records a 6.6% increase in murder and other increases in robberies, cash-in-transit heists and farm murders.

“Women in our country continue to bear the ultimate brutal brunt of gender-based violence. With over 12 218 people reported to have been raped, and a further 5% increase in sexual offences recorded within just three months, we have a long road ahead of us in tackling heinous crimes committed against our women, children and vulnerable groups.

“These statistics reflect that no amount of #StopGBV conferences and an array of other policing talk shops that only talk tough on crime, will deter criminals from committing these injustices against our people,” Majozi said.

The Saturday Star

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