Police Minister, Bheki Cele, says it must not be a norm that citizens are hijacked, robbed and killed on a daily basis. He was briefing the media after Police Ministry officials unveiled the crime stats for 2017/18 in Parliament.
Stats indicate that the murder rate is up by 6,9% – resulting in a figure of over 20 000 this year, or 57 murders a day.
Cele has described the murder rate as ‘scary’, saying it borders on a war zone. He says the situation must be changed for the better.
“Strategic partnerships are crucial in the process of correcting the wrong and repositioning the ball differently. We need to urge communities, political parties, departments, the private sector, civil society and the entire government to work with police and walk with us in the fight against crime.
“I believe that without any form of hesitation, the Ministry of Police and the SAPS should put their heads on the block, in that this situation must be arrested with swiftness and it must be reversed with lightning speed,” Cele said.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) head of crime statistics and statistics, Major General Norman Sekhukhune, says murders of women and children make up close to one-fifth of all the murders in the country.
“Both murders of women children and boys and girls have increased over all percentage is 19.3% or 3915,” adds Sekhukhune.
Meanwhile, cash-in-transit heists have also increased since 2016 with 238 cases reported over the last financial year. Sekhukhune has taken the Committee through the cash-in-transit stats.
“Robberies of CIT heists – the highest point was in 2008/9 and then we reached the lowest point in 2014/15. Unfortunately, since then we had 3 consecutive years whereby this crime has increased. In 2016/17 we had 152 cases and now we had 238. The case difference is 86, which is an increase of 56.6%.”
The statistics for rapes and other sexual assaults have also increased. The chairperson of Parliament’s Police Committee Chair, Francois Beukman, has called for a new approach by the SA Police Service.
“What is quite important to note is that the murder increase of 6.9% is really alarming and totally unacceptable. And it is clear if we look at the stats that violent crime is indeed a clear and present danger to all South Africans and the communities. Judging from the stats it is clear that we need strategic intervention from SAPS, not the mere tactical or operational response. There is an issue of specialised units.”
Political parties react to the crime stats: