Durban - While KwaZulu-Natal has the most murders in South Africa for the fourth year running, Inanda, north of Durban, has recorded the highest number of rapes in the country.
On Friday, Police Minister General Bheki Cele released the annual crime statistics, reflecting crimes that occurred from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.
Even a visit by President Cyril Ramaphosa to Inanda did little to stymie incidents of rape in the densely populated area.
While the KZN province had the most murder cases, it had a murder rate of 42.6 per 100 000 people. The province with the highest murder rate was the Eastern Cape, which had 3 879 murders, but a murder rate of 59.5 per 100 000 people.
The Western Cape province was second, closely behind with a murder rate of 58.2 per 100 000 people, for its 3975 murders during the 2019/20 financial year.
Inanda secured the dubious honour of having the most rape cases after its local police station recorded 297 rape cases during the period in question, followed closely by uMlazi where 293 cases were recorded.
uMlazi’s rape stats had shown an 11.8% increase from the previous term.
Inanda ward councillor Sduduzo Khuzwayo said their greatest challenge was rape within families.
“Most cases happen at home behind closed doors. There are 10 councillors in the area who have all been trying to find solutions and ways to strengthen the CPF and fight crime.”
Khuzwayo attributed the number of murders in the area to taxi violence.
Inanda Community Police Forum chairperson Mzwandile Bono Ntshangase said Inanda was an ideal hideout for criminals because the area was densely populated and informal settlements were hard to access.
He said there were about 173 registered taverns, with hundreds of illegal ones trading in illicit booze and drugs.
“Most of the rape and attempted murder cases happened on the way from taverns during the early hours when the victim was intoxicated,” he said.
There were 231 murders in Inanda over the period and 212 in uMlazi.
Provincially, in 2010, 3740 murders were reported in KZN, but that jumped to 4859 in the last term - the highest in the country.
Meanwhile, claims of a shutdown of major roads today as truck drivers continue protests against the hiring of foreign nationals has been squashed by the All Truck Drivers Foundation (ATDF).
ATDF secretary Sifiso Nyathi said they distanced themselves from a widely circulated WhatsApp message.
“We as ATDF deny the fact that it was our chairperson, Mr Siyabonga Dlamini, but someone else who is an enemy of our organisation,” said Nyathi.
** This story has been updated.