At least 58 people are murdered in South Africa every day. This is according to the national annual crime statistics released by Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, on Friday. These statistics revealed that South Africa recorded 21 325 murders between April 2019 and March this year – an increase of over 300 more killings or 1.4%. The majority of these murder cases are in KwaZulu-Natal that increased by 464 cases, followed by Gauteng, with extra 60 murders.
In addition to murder, sexual offences cases have gone up by 1.7% and Minister Cele said what’s more concerning is that an increasing number of victims are being raped and attacked while at institutions of learning.
“It is of concern that educational institutions are becoming hotbeds for sexual violence. 380 cases of rape were reported at either schools, universities, colleges or daycare centres,” Cele said.
Rape increased from 41 583 to 42 289 cases, sexual assault was up from 7 437 to 7 749 cases,
Attempted sexual offences decreased from 2,146 to 2,076. Contact sexual offences reduced from 1,254 to 1,179.
South Africa is currently facing a gender-based violence challenge, but Cele said police will be on the frontline in the fight against the scourge.
“Police have recruited 312 new members to be trained specifically for gender violence. It is an inter-ministerial issue and the police are part of that. Police have victim friendly rooms to keep victims safe,” he said.
The minister blamed alcohol for being “a big contributing factor to many crimes like assault, murder, attempted murder and rape”.
"Most of the people are raped coming from shebeens. They are raped by people coming from shebeens, they are raped around shebeens, or they are raped in shebeens. So murders will go with these rapes,” he said.
Attempted murder went down by 1.8%, with 18 635 cases recorded, 345 fewer than the previous year.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) said it would urgently write to Cele to provide clarity on what the opposition party calls “several problematic and confusing aspects of the annual crime statistics for 2019/2020”.
“The crime stats once again indicate that South African Police Service (SAPS) is losing the battle against most major crimes. The murder rate is, again, the highest it has been in 10 years, with an average of 58.4 murders per day in South Africa. Sexual offences increased by 1.7%, with sexual assault increasing by 4.2%. On average, 115.8 people are raped in South Africa every day. Contact crimes also increased by 0.7%,” said the DA’s spokesperson on police, Andrew Whitfield.