Gauteng remains the most violent province in the country, according to the provincial police’s top management.
They say more than 4 500 people were murdered in the province between April 2019 and March 2020. Close to 11 000 sexual offences were reported to the police in the same period, the majority of them being rape incidents.
The biggest hike recorded was for car-hijackings followed by robbery at non-residential properties.
Gauteng police’s top management presented the crime statistics to the Gauteng Legislature’s Community Safety Committee and told them that some of their interventions are beginning to yield results.
Based on the latest crime statistics, Gauteng won’t be shedding its image of a Gangsters’ Paradise anytime soon. Most of the contact crimes including murder, attempted murder, common assault, robbery with aggravating circumstances and sexual offences have gone up.
Police Minister Bheki Cele releases the 2019/2020 crime statistics:
Gauteng Police Commissioner Elias Mawela says the more than 4 500 murders reported are due to taxi-related violence, illegal mining, vigilantism and robberies.
“Gauteng in the last financial year had a number of unfortunate incidents with multiple murders. We counted at least 15 incidents. Seven bodies of illegal miners were picked up in one incident in Benoni in December last year. Also in December last year, six people were killed in the same day in taxi violence-related incident in Tshwane.”
The police have not been spared with 16 officers being killed in the reporting period.
Close to 11 000 sexual offences were reported to police, an increase of 58 cases from 2019; more than 8 000 of these related to rape.
The majority of cases come from Tembisa and Mamelodi East in Pretoria, Dobsonville and Moroka in Soweto and Diepsloot in the north of Johannesburg.
There’s been outrage from all sectors of society about the high rate of violence against women and children. Ngaa Murombedzi, from the organisation Women and Men Against Child Abuse, says children are affected by crime reports.
“We are pleased to see that in attempted sexual offences there seem to be a decline from the previous year. However, we are concerned that the rape cases reported to police are still high. Children are ultimately affected by every crime reported in this report.”
— GPLegislature (@GPLegislature) August 12, 2020
Commissioner Mawela says the sexual crime statistics remain stubbornly high.
“Although we registered an increase; this 0.5% in sexual offences is remarkably smaller compared to the 2018/19 increase of 6.3% that translated 636 cases higher. This can be attributed to the intervention to work to restore public trust and confidence in the police service as well as raising awareness among communities, successful tracing and arrest of wanted suspects.”
Car hijackings have increased by over 16% and robbery at non-residential premises went up by nearly 5%. The majority of robberies, about 2 324 to be exact, were attacks on spaza shops followed by shopping malls and convenience stores.
Most of these crimes were reported in Tembisa, east of Johannesburg, Moroka and Dobsonville in Soweto and Mamelodi East in Pretoria.
Acting Community Safety committee chairperson and former Community Safety MEC, Sizakele Nkosi, says this is worrying.
“Some of these robberies are happening because of unrest. People would pretend that they are actually protesting against non-service delivery but some of them will end up involved in robbing shops. We are worried about drug-related crimes. In our country, there’re a lot of drugs available which then contribute to the commission of crime.”
Despite the grim statistics, Provincial Crime Registrar, Brigadier Mpho Chakalane, believes they’re making inroads in curbing bank robberies, robberies at residential properties, cash in transit robberies, commercial and drug-related crimes.
“When you look at Gauteng in comparison to other provinces, as you can see the volumes recorded by Gauteng are way higher than other provinces. But irrespective of that, Gauteng is able to reduce its crime rate. In the last financial year 2019/2020, we have reduced our crime rate by 2. 2%.”
Gauteng police management say they’ll strengthen their collaboration with other law enforcement agencies to reduce crime.
Below is SA’s full crime report for 2019/2020: