Gangsters have two paradises

10 September 2010 - 02:07 By SALLY EVANS, CHANDRÉ PRINCE and NIVASHNI NAIR

Gauteng, South Africa's financial powerhouse, is the most dangerous province - but KwaZulu-Natal is hot on its heels.

As national police commissioner General Bheki Cele put it yesterday: "Gauteng remains [the province where] 50% of South Africa's crime [occurs], but I can see that KZN is coming closer. It looks like they are jealous."

National crime statistics released yesterday show that both provinces are hot spots for contact crimes.

Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal ranked worst for carjacking, accounting for a combined 80.3% of carjackings nationwide.

Murders in Gauteng dropped by 13.7%, second only to KwaZulu-Natal, where there were 4224 killings.

Gauteng recorded the "highest incidence of aggravated robbery". Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal recorded the second- and third-highest incidences.

Of the 30 police stations that recorded the highest number of residential robberies, 19 were in Gauteng. Sandton topped the list.

Eight KwaZulu-Natal police stations featured in this top-30 list.

KwaMashu, in Durban, recorded the highest number of murders for the second year. The statistics showed that driving in Umlazi, south of Durban, is far from safe.

More than 250 car hijackings were recorded there, the second-highest number in the country.

But the chairman of the township's community policing forum, Muzi Buyase, urged motorists not to stay away from the area.

He said hijackers targeted couples parked in secluded areas.

"I am sure that if we look at the statistics we will see that most have been attacks on lovers hidden away in their cars.

"People must not be afraid to come to Umlazi because you can drive around freely."

The hijacking statistics identified Pinetown, Chatsworth, Isipingo, Umbilo, Phoenix and Newlands as danger areas.

North of Durban, in Inanda, house robberies have increased from 755 to 825 in the past year, making it the area with the fifth-highest residential robbery rate in the country.