Members of Parliament’s Police Committee have raised concern about the continued increase in the murder rate in the country. Police Minister, Bheki Cele, presented the crime statistics for the last financial year 2019-2020 to the Committee on Friday.

According to the latest stats, the murder rate has increased by 303, with a total of just more than 21 000.

Sexual offences increased by 873, bringing the total to just over 53 000. Inanda, north of Durban, has recorded the highest number of rapes in the country followed by nearby Umlazi.

During the previous period, Inanda police station recorded the highest number of sexual offences. Cele says he believes that alcohol has played a role in these crimes.

“Our most problematic areas here will be Umlazi and Inanda. That is what the figures are telling us they have nothing to do with the Stats under lockdown. Those lockdown stats will come quarterly. One other problem we found with Inanda is that most of the people they are rape coming from shebeens. Murders would go with these rapes so which means alcohol does play a role here on these matters.”

Advocacy Manager at Women and Men Against Child Abuse, Ngaa Murombedzi on the crime stats:  

Chairperson of the Committee, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, says the increase remains worrying.

“Violent crimes like murder and sexual offences have increased over a three-year period. A little bit adds to a bigger increase. How will (we) reduce violent crime by 50% over 9 years if the murder rate keeps going up?”

The Freedom Front Plus leader, Pieter Groenewald, says the country is clearly becoming more violent.

Cele defended that the year-on-year increases are smaller every year. “Some form of stabilisation … flattening the curve. If (you) look at stats, we are trying to stabilise. As you can see, murder, from a thousand went half and half again. Several stations moved out of the top 30; some stay at 30. If (you) look at Nyanga Police Station, moved from one to four so shows stabilisation.”

 Minister Bheki Cele releases 2019/20 national crime statistics: 

With sexual crimes showing an increase of more than 800 cases during the reporting period, MPs such as Sheik Emam from the NFP, Jacqui Mofokeng from the ANC and Zandile Majozi from the IFP expressed concern.

“Twelve women raped; 14 sexually assaulted. Can’t deal with GBV. Can we get a protection order register? So, we can track how many people committed that crime.”

Cele says statistics are very important as they help police in their crime combating formulation strategy.

Wave of crime in Eastern Cape

Reacting to the crime statistics, the Democratic Alliance in the Eastern Cape expresses concern over the wave of crime in the province.

The opposition party says 11 people are being murdered daily in the province, adding that the high rate of theft has had a negative impact on rural communities.

Over 3 000 people have lost their lives at the hands of criminals in the province while there is a total of  68 545 contact crimes recorded in the Eastern Cape in the last financial year.

The DA’s shadow minister of Safety and Security Bobby Stevenson explains, “What we need to fix this is a collective afford from the community from saps, businesses and security companies and municipality working in a new partnership so that we can take back control of our streets. SAPS alone cannot do it, we need a new model partnership to make eastern cape safe for everyone.”

Independent Crime Analyst Dr. Chris De Kock weighs in on the latest crime stats: