/ 19 August 2022

South Africa’s murder rate up 11.5% in the first quarter of 2022

Murder is up by 4.6%
Ransom kidnappings make up only 5% of South Africa’s kidnapping cases, according to the South African Police Service.  Most kidnappings are because of robberies and hijackings. 

South Africa’s murder rate increased by 11.5% in the first quarter of 2022 compared with the same period last year,  while attempted murder rose by 8.4% and carjacking by 14%, according to the latest crime statistics presented by Police Minister Bheki Cele on Friday.

Cele said the main causes for murders remained arguments, misunderstandings, retaliation and revenge, as well as vigilantism.

“The number of murders in this country remains high and worrisome. 6 424 people were killed by other persons in the country in the first quarter of the 2022/2023 financial year.This is an increase of 664 more people murdered, compared to the same period last year, when the country was placed under (the Covid-19) lockdown level one and two,” said Cele.

The Umlazi, Plessislaer police stations in KwaZulu-Natal and Mthatha station in the Eastern Cape recorded the highest murder cases during first quarter, accounting for 221.

Cele said there had been efforts to tighten policing and improve response time, but this was hindered by a shortage of vehicles.

The attempted murder of women remained high. From April to June, 855 women and 243 children were killed.  In the same period 9 516 rape cases were opened with the South African Police Service (SAPS). This was 500 less than the same period last year. The North West and Northern Cape were the only two provinces which reported an increase in this crime category.

The SAPS was also investigating 1 400 attempted murder dockets of women and children.

Cele said 3 780 rape cases occurred in the homes of either the assailants or the victims, while 1 546 people were raped in public places such as streets, parks and beaches, and
3 780 of the rapes took place in public transportation such as buses, taxis and trains.

“Violent crimes committed against women and children recorded alarmingly high and unacceptable levels. All communities, faith-based organisations and other stakeholders must join hands in having a zero-tolerance approach when it comes to crimes committed against women and children,” said Cele.

Commercial crime increased by 12.7% but robbery at non-residential premises was down by 6.4%, the statistics showed. Contact crimes increase by 15.5% overall.

Cele said the constant opening of liquor outlets in communities contributed to the increase in contact crimes. Between April and June 2022, 227 people were killed in places of entertainment such as taverns, pubs and bars, while alcohol was involved in 1 212 rape cases.

“Liquor remains one of the biggest contributors of crime.We urge communities, civil society, religious organisations and various community organisations to look at addressing the role liquor is playing in communities and as a crime contributor,” said Cele.