The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called for Police Minister Bheki Cele along with the National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole to urgently appear before Parliament to account for failing to keep South Africans safe.

The party was reacting to the latest crime statistics which saw murders increase by over 6%.

In the period between October and December last year, more than 6 200 people were killed across the country, 12 218 were raped, while sexual offences increased by 5% and robberies with aggravated circumstances by 7%.

DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Police, Okkie Terblanche says farm murders and attacks also increased.

“The police are losing their battle against crime. Rural safety remains a concern. 19 people were killed in 18 incidents of murder which occurred on farms and smallholdings. Farm murders increased to 63 last year. The DA calls on the Saps to immediately implement its rural safety plan. Gender-based violence continues to plague South Africans.  South Africa remains a violent society where women and children are particularly vulnerable.”

Call for communities to work with police 

Releasing the stats on Friday, Cele said serious crimes are on the rise in South Africa. Cele noted that murder and rape have become a societal matter where communities must work together with the police to protect the vulnerable.

Both these crimes increased over the third quarter of the 2020/2021 financial year. Nationally, 6 297 people were killed in South Africa between 1 October and 31 December.

Mpumalanga province recorded the highest increase of 13.7% with Limpopo, North West, and Northern Cape provinces recording a decline in their murder cases.

Cele said 193 of the national murders were a result of domestic violence.

“The top four causative factors of these deaths are arguments, robberies at a household and businesses, mob justice incidents, and gang-related killings. A total of 2 481 people were murdered in public places like on the street, open fields, parking areas, and abandoned buildings. 1 643 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.”

Minister Bheki Cele releases crime stats: 

Overall sexual offences increased by 5% compared to the previous reporting period. 12  218 people were raped between 1 October and 31 December 2020.

“Over 4 900 of the rape incidents took place at the home of the victim or the home of the rapist. 570 were domestic violence-related and 547 of rape cases in this category, involved female victims and 23 were males. Inanda, Umlazi in Kwa-Zulu Natal, and the Eastern Cape’s Lusikisiki police stations recorded the highest incidents of rape.”

According to the latest figures, the crime statistics for Mpumalanga, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Western Cape – all showed they are regressing in their fight against crime but the Eastern Cape has shown a significant improvement.

“The four provinces recorded over 10% increases in the crime of murder. As the Police Ministry and Police management, we have taken a decision to have operational oversight in the four provinces and monitor them closely. We expect a turnaround plan to be adopted and executed urgently and effectively. Failure to do so must result in consequences.”

Aggravated robberies, such as carjackings increased by 7%.  5 781 people were robbed in their houses, which is an increase of  1.3%.

Cash-in-Transit robberies increased drastically with 66.7% and truck hijackings with 34.2% with 436 trucks being targets.

The police recorded 19 people killed in 18 incidents at farms or smallholdings. Three of the victims were killed by the farm manager.