From 2015 to last year, the number of children who committed murders rocketed from 47 to 736.
In announcing the crime statistics, Major-General Norman Sekhukhune, head of Crime, Research and Statistics at the SAPS revealed that a shockingly high number of murders had been committed by children under 18.
Confirming the findings, he said: “We need to mention, in terms of the murders that are committed against children, that when we looked at the number of crimes involving children in conflict with the law, we observed that some of these murders of children were committed by other children.”
“We know that the number of murders committed by children in the current financial year was 736.”
Just this week, a 17-year-old was stabbed to death by a 14-year-old fellow pupil following a scuffle over a cellphone at Tokelo Secondary School in Evaton, Sebokeng.
In the North West last week, a 17-year-old was allegedly killed by a group of pupils at Geysdorp Secondary School in Delareyville. It is alleged that a feud had ensued between two groups. After intervention by educators, the groups, made up of pupils from Madibogo Village and Geysdorp, were separated.
According to the police, a group from Madibogo mobilised other pupils from the village and armed themselves with weapons. The group allegedly forced entry into the school when a heated confrontation arose and a 17-year-old boy from Madibogo High School was allegedly caught and stabbed several times.
Save the Children South Africa (SCSA) said it was worrying that children were committing crimes.
“It is worrying that children are increasingly becoming perpetrators; this reflects the nature of the violent society we live in.
"If we don't act now to correct this, then the circle of violence will continue for generations to come. We need to deal with the issue of violence in our society holistically from the home setting to the school setting,” said the SCSA’s advocacy manager, Litlhare Radebe.