Murder: SA still a killing field
South Africa still has one of the highest murder rates in the world with 31 murders per 100000 people in 2012 - five times the global average of 6.2 per 100000, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime's latest report, released yesterday.
Crime statistics released by Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa in September showed that murder increased by 650 cases, to 16259, a 4.2% increase from 2012.
The AFP news agency's Africa Check report released earlier this week puts South Africa's murder rate at 31.3 per 100000 people, a 2.8% increase from 2012.
Nevertheless, the UN report hailed South Africa's "encouraging trend" in halving the murder rate from 64.5 per 100 000 in 1995 to 31 in 2012.
But Institute for Security Studies senior researcher Gareth Newham says this country could reduce the murder rate to 2.1 per 100 000.
"Reduction of the murder rate relies on the police, but what we need is a plan that involves more social workers, education and role-modelling because most people [in this country] are killed by people known to them," Newham said.
The UN reported that over half of all murder victims were under 30, with children under 15 accounting for just over 8% of all murder victims, at 36 000.
The UN report notes that though most men globally are killed by someone they did not know, almost half of the female victims were killed by someone close to them.
About 80% of murder victims and 95% of perpetrators were men, with 15% of all murders stemming from domestic violence (63 600).
Almost 70% of all domestic violence fatalities in South Africa are women (43 600).
"Home can be the most dangerous place for a woman," said Jean-Luc Lemahieu, the UN's director for policy analysis and public affairs
- The UN names Honduras as the world's most murderous country, with 90.4 murders per 100000. The US overtook Africa as the region with the most murders because of a surge in drugs-funded organised crime.