/ 17 February 2023

Crime stats: Violence in South Africa is getting worse

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In a week when South Africa’s scourge of violent crime played out with live visuals of rapper Kiernan “AKA” Forbes’s street shooting, Police Minister Bheki Cele matter-of-factly revealed that 82 people are killed each day in the country.

Presenting the third quarter crime statistics for the period October to December 2022 before parliament’s police committee on Friday, Cele said the police had reported 7 555 murders in the three months, which was 669 more killings than in the preceding quarter.

This equated to 82 murders a day, up from 74 a day during the third quarter of 2021.

Sexual assaults also rose, with 15 545 reported cases, up 1 357 from the second quarter. This translated to 169 sexual offences a day. Violent robberies, which involve the use of dangerous weapons, were at 37 829 in the third quarter, meaning a staggering 411 people were robbed every day.

Despite these harrowing figures, Cele congratulated the police on a job well done “through visible policing and disruptive operations”, claiming the officers’ work had prevented the further escalation of crime. 

“Plainly put, ‘the more boots on the ground’ was not just a slogan, their impact has been felt and is starting to make a difference in our communities,” he said.

He added that his ministry would push forward legislation aimed at empowering communities to be a part of the police’s crime-fighting efforts.

“One such example is the amendment of the SAPS Act, to strengthen the functioning of community policing forums. The amendments will ensure that CPFs are provided with some resources to enable them to function optimally,” Cele said.