South Africa’s murder rate increased by 8.9% in the last three months of 2021 compared to the same period the previous year, while attempted murder rose by 3.5% and carjacking by 13.8%, according to the latest crime statistics, presented to parliament’s police committee on Friday.
The total number of murders recorded between October and December 2021 increased by 562, to 6 859 from 6 297 during the same time in the previous reporting period.
These murder statistics are for the third term of the 2021-22 financial year. More women were killed in the last quarter of 2021 compared to the same period the previous year, with numbers rising to 902, an increase of 4.2% or 36 deaths from the previous year.
Attempted murder of women also rose, climbing to 1 240 from 1 157, an increase of 83 attempted murders, or 7.2%. And women were the victims in 12 614 cases of common assault, compared to 2 528 cases where men were assaulted.
The statistics are slightly more positive when it comes to the killing of children, with a 5.6% decline. A total of 352 children were killed between October and December 2021.
But the number of attempted murders of children rose by 30% during the same period, 303 in the previous year to 394.
Commercial crime increased by 15.1% from October to December 2021, while robbery at non-residential premises was up by 1.7%.
Contact crimes increased by 2% overall.
The murder rate rose most sharply in North West, Limpopo, Kwazulu-Natal and Gauteng, according to the statistics.
There was an increase of 245 cases of murder in KwaZulu-Natal and 243 in Gauteng in the three months under review, and 58 and 53 respectively in North West and Limpopo. Inanda in KwaZulu-Natal was the top police station in terms of murder statistics, with 83 cases recorded, followed by Umlazi in KwaZulu-Natal and Delft in the Western Cape, with 81 cases each.
Umlazi, Inanda, Plessislaer and KwaMashu-East — all in KwaZulu-Natal — recorded the highest number of attempted murder cases.
The number of recorded farm murders halved to 11.
Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape continues to be the rape capital of the country. There were 92 rapes recorded between October and December 2021 in the small Eastern Cape town, an increase of 21 from the same period the previous year.
Umlazi in KwaZulu-Natal remains in second place for the number of rapes, with 85 rapes recorded between October and December 2021, an increase of 16 from the same period in the previous year.
The police said alcohol was a contributing factor in 280 cases of murder, 374 of attempted murder, 1 305 of rape and 5 671 of gender-based violence.
Kidnapping showed the biggest increase of all categories of crime, with a 35.7% increase to 2 605 during the current reporting period compared to the previous. In the second quarter of 2021-22, from July to September, there had been 2 000 kidnappings. So far in the 2021-22 financial year, there have been 6 837 kidnappings.
Robbery at residential premises showed a slight decline of 0.4%. Here, too, Umlazi and Plessislaer are among the three police stations with the highest number of cases.