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'It was a bad day for me to present these stats to cabinet': Bheki Cele #CrimeStats

11 September 2018 - 09:15 By TimesLIVE
Police Minister Bheki Cele during the 2017/2018 crime statistics briefing in Parliament on Tuesday, September 11.
Police Minister Bheki Cele during the 2017/2018 crime statistics briefing in Parliament on Tuesday, September 11.
Image: Esa Alexander

Police Minster Bheki Cele has dropped a bombshell: "Government security cluster hasn't met in 2 years. Perhaps that is part of dropping the ball, but now we meet regularly".

Cele was delivering crime statistics for 2017/2018, first presenting them to parliament, which are worse than expected.

The dismal state of crime in South Africa is worsened by, amongst other things, the decline in the number of police officers serving the community.

"We have lost the United Nations norm of policing which says 1 policeman to 220 citizens. One police officer is now looking after almost double that," Cele said. 

In 2009/10 crime figures were moved from 18,000 to 16,000. Today it stands on 20,000.

Murder has increased for 7 consecutive years from 15,554 in 2011/2012 to 20,336 in 2017/2018.

This financial year the figures stand at 1,320 murders.

57 South Africans are murdered per day.

The motive for most murders is gang-related, say police. Of the 973 cases listed across South Africa, the Western Cape recorded the highest at 808 followed by the Eastern Cape with 87.

Taxi-related killings were the third highest category listed by the SAPS as a motive for murder, with 237 cases. Gauteng was the worst, with 110 murders. The Western Cape had 45, the Eastern Cape 39 and KwaZulu-Natal 36.

The zama zamas - or illegal miners - recorded 65 murders in the Free State, out of a total of 94.

Farm murders were included as a separate category this time. There were 62 killings recorded by police, of which twelve took place in Gauteng. Nine murders were recorded for both Limpopo and in North West. Eight cases took place in Mpumalanga and the same in the Free State, with seven in KwaZulu-Natal. Three cases of murder took place in each of the following pronvices - Eastern, Northern and Western Cape.

The places where you are most likely to be murdered are Nyanga in the Western Cape and Umlazi in KwaZulu-Natal. At Nyanga between April 2017 to March 2018, there were 308 cases, an increase of 9,6%. In Umlazi, there were 223 murders, a jump of 19,3%.

A graph showing the favoured weapons in commission of crimes in South Africa in 2017/2018
A graph showing the favoured weapons in commission of crimes in South Africa in 2017/2018
Image: Dave Chambers

"The reduction in the number of robbery with aggravating circumstances (-2512 counts) is to be welcomed given that this crime category is one where police action can have a pronounced impact," says Social Justice Coalition.

A shocking increase of sexual assaults has been recorded in Gauteng, up by 18.3% to 1,511 cases reported to police.

Car hijackings are down by four percent in Gauteng, although still high at 8,269 cases.

Gauteng experienced six bank robberies, compared to just one the previous year.

Cash-in-transit robberies in Gauteng alone totalled 80 cases. This is a jump of 142.4% from the previous year.

Truck hijackings are also increasing - up by six percent to 708 cases.

Top 10 areas for property related crimes are

1. Cape Town Central, Western Cape
2. Honeydew, Gauteng
3. Stellenbosch, Western Cape
4. Witbank, Mpumalanga
5. Park Road, Free State
6. Rustenburg, North West
7. Durban Central, KwaZulu-Natal
8. Brooklyn, Gauteng
9. Sunnyside, (Pretoria), Gauteng
10. Nelspruit, Mpumalanga
11. Lyttelton (Near Centurion), Gauteng
12. Pinetown, Kwazulu/Natal
13. Wierdabrug, Gauteng
14. Mitchells Plain, Western Cape
15. Umbilo, Kwazulu/Natal
16. Jhb Central, Gauteng
17. Midrand, Gauteng
18. Roodepoort, Gauteng
19. Kempton Park, Gauteng
20. Middelburg, Mpumalanga
21. Humewood, Eastern Cape
22. Potchefstroom, North West
23. Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng
24. Bellville, Western Cape
25. East London, Eastern Cape
26. Vereeniging, Gauteng
27. Mount Road, Eastern Cape
28. Pretoria Central, Gauteng
29. Springs, Gauteng
30. Krugersdorp, Gauteng

Arson has surged in KwaZulu-Natal, with Umlazi recording the most cases at 35 (up by 34,6%) along with Inanda (25), Ntuzuma (24), Eshowe (22), Nongoma (21), Plessislaer (19), Chatsworth (18).

The biggest percentage increase in cases of arson, however, is in Rustenburg in the North West – a 2,200% increases, equating to 23 cases of arson between April 2017 to March 2018, from just one case the previous year.

Mob justice was the next highest category cited as a motive for murder, with 849 cases in the year. Most of these crimes were in Gauteng at 264 and Western Cape at 173 cases. KZN had 145 cases in this category.