Saturday, February 17, 2024

IN DEPTH: Crime statistics between October and December 2023

Police Minister, Bheki Cele, released the third quarter crime statistics for 2023, on Friday. This period reflects crimes reported at South Africa’s over 1 100 police stations between 1 October to 31 December 2023.

Whilst there has been a reduction in the number of murders reported for the past consecutive terms, the same cannot be said this time around, as the country reported an increase of 2.1% in murder cases reported, which translates to 155 more people murdered as compared to the same period as 2022. 7 710 people were murdered between October and December 2023. That is about 85 murders per day.

‘’The provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Free State must be singled out and commended for being able to register a reduction in the number of people murdered during this period. While they may not be out of the woods yet, it is important to highlight that attention and more resources have been allocated to stations that have the highest number of murders reported. The majority of the top 30 stations where murder was most reported include, the Western Cape, KwaZulu Natal, Gauteng and Eastern Cape,’’ said Police Minister, Bheki Cele.

 Amongst the top 5 stations where murders were reported are in Inanda in KZN, and Mfuleni, Gugulethu, Nyanga and Khayelitsha in the Western Cape. Cele says Arguments, misunderstandings, provocation, remains the top causal factor leading to 1 116 murders.

‘’It is also concerning that of the 268 gang-related murders, 250 of these murders were reported in the Western Cape. 431 murders were linked to vigilantism and mob justice attacks, Gauteng registered the highest with 84, followed by the Eastern Cape with 80 and KwaZulu-Natal with 78.’’

PICTURE: Pixabay

Despite there being a 1.7% decrease in the number of sexual offences crimes including, rape sexual assault and contact sexual offences, 15 284 cases were registered within these three months

‘’Rape declined by 1,7 % and six provinces including Gauteng, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Northern Cape and Western Cape all registered a decline in this crime category. More than two-thousand four-hundred suspect raids led to 4-thousand- 2-hundred and 64 (4264) suspects being arrested for GBVF related crimes such as rape and sexual assault. What is encouraging is that more awareness programs are being conducted by our social crime prevention and Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units (FCS), which translates to an increase in the reporting of these crimes.’’

‘’What is most encouraging is that, Inanda which has always been known as the rape capital of the country - has also seen a slight reduction in the number of rape cases by registering twenty counts lower than the same period under review. This goes to show that our FCS teams are proving to be acting decisively against those who are perpetrating rape crimes. What is still worrying and of great concern is that the majority of the rapes, were committed at victims’ residences. The perpetrators were either neighbours, friends or a family members,’’ added Cele.

Police Minister Bheki Cele says there has been significant progress in clearing the country’s DNA backlog. Cele says the backlog has been cleared down to zero from 251,000 in the 2021/2022 financial year. The backlog has made it impossible for the state to finalise many criminal cases involving murder and rape.

‘’The expansion of the DNA lab in Gqerberha which was opened by the President in August 2023 has contributed immensely to the processing of more DNA samples in the country. All these efforts have contributed positively to the SAPS fight against gender-based violence and femicide cases. For example, the NPA and SAPS project has led to more than 40 000 DNA forensic reports being finalised to ensure that cases of GBVF are prioritized.’’

Property related crime registered an overall 2,9 %  decrease in incidents reported. Burglary at non-residential premises saw a drop of 158 cases while burglaries at residential premises registered an increase of 104 in the number of cases reported.

In terms of crimes detected as a result of police action, such as the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, drug-related crime, as well as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs as well as sexual offences and other crimes all registered a positive increase of 10.8 %. These are crimes that are usually not reported to the police but detected as a result of the deployment of law enforcement personnel and the employment of intelligence. The statistics reveal that contact crimes which are commonly known as the 17-community reported crimes which include murder, rape, assault, and shoplifting registered a slight increase of 1,5 %.

With regards to police killings - 22 police officers were killed during October & December 2023. Police Minister, Bheki Cele said 10 were killed on duty while 12 were killed off-duty.12 police killers were apprehended during this period.

‘’Criminals are warned that they will face the full might of the law and be held accountable for all the consequences flowing from the killing of police officials. We will not hesitate to ensure that those who harbour police killers are or are in any way involved in criminal activity related to police killings will face the same consequences as the criminal who actually pulled the trigger. This principle applies to all those who assist criminal to commit crimes or evade the law afterwards.’’

 In relation to mass shootings, six incidents were reported, while the seventh incident was a mob justice attack in Diepsloot.

With construction mafia incidents, and Cele says this continues to pose a threat to businesses and the economy of the country. From April to date, Cele revealed that more than 61 suspects linked to these extortions were arrested.  Cele says the Western Cape has made significant progress in dismantling and taking down those behind the 30% construction mafia grouping where projects were delayed as a result of acts of criminality.

‘’Amongst the many arrested include the Kingpins which include Ralph Stanfield and his wife Nicole Johnson and three others, Nafiz Modack who is the leader of the Terrible Westsiders gang and seventeen others are in custody for gang related activities and the murder of the late Lieutenant Colonel Kinnear as well as the attempted murder of a local attorney, William Booth and the father of a Hawks investigator. These suspects are currently appearing in court on various charges linked to18 cases such as murder, corruption, intimidation, extortion and fraud. Three have already been found guilty.’’
‘’Yanga Nyalara commonly known as Bara is also in custody, he was arrested in July 2023 with five others for extortion related mass murders involving twenty four bodies that were found in the greater Khayelitsha Precinct; Lungi Arnold Madolo, also known as Fire, was involved in the killing of Deputy Chairperson of CPF in Gugulethu, Ms Guffy was traced and arrested in Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape; Bonke Makalala who is a leader in SANTACO Western Cape is also in custody, he was arrested in December 2023 for taxi violence related activities,’’ said Cele.

 The crime statistics for the months of October and December 2023, showed that more than 300 suspects linked to  kidnappings have been arrested in the last two years.

  Police Minister, Bheki Cele, says Community policing forums remains a top priority in the fight against crime. R70 million has been allocated to this sector

‘’It is quiet encouraging that 94 % of the CPF budget has been spent on resources such as vehicles to ensure maximum cooperation and interaction with the community.’’

Reacting to the latest crime statistics, FF Plus leader Dr. Pieter Groenewald says South Africa is fast becoming the world's crime capital with increasing levels of violence

 ‘’While South Africa is beginning to stand out as one of the most crime-affected countries in the world, in various respects, and the crime rate continues to climb, crime hardly even registered as a short bleep on President Cyril Ramaphosa's SONA radar…. The rising levels of violent crime, particularly against women and children, are very alarming. This is despite government and President Cyril Ramaphosa's numerous promises year after year to take decisive action against gender-based violence.’’

‘’The link between unemployment and crime in South Africa is obvious. As the country's economy declined over the years, levels of crime rose accordingly. With its poor governance, the ANC has driven South Africa to a point where it is one of the worst and most criminal countries with one of the highest unemployment rates in the world.’’

The GOOD party’s secretary-general, Brett Herron, says crime statistics contain no good news. He says a number of abnormal conditions in South African society contribute to the excessive crime rate, including poverty and the relatively low percentage of criminals who are convicted for their crimes. Herron ays the different governmental departments needs to contribute to creating communities conducive to human development, the development of youth in particular. He said more funding must go to neighbourhood watches and police forums to operate as the eyes and ears of the police, and less to VIP security.

Lobby group, Action Society, says South Africans have been abandoned by the government in the war against crime. Director Ian Cameron says South Africans are on their own when it comes to safety and security.

Cameron slammed Police Minister Bheki Cele for saying the DNA backlog has been cleared. Cameron says if this was thecase, then the murderes of five-year-old Mia Botha would have been found

Meanwhile, DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Community Safety Gillion Bosman, is in the view that SAPS has lost control of the fight against crime in the Western Cape. The party has once aghain called for the devolution of policing powers.

‘’The simple reality is that the Western Cape needs the mandate and the resources to totally overhaul policing in the province… The time has come for national government to get out of the way of progress.’’

“It is heartbreaking to see progress being undone, and lives being lost as a result. The Western Cape Government has a plan to drastically reduce crime and make our communities safer, but the ANC’s national government continues to stand in the way for political reasons, and prioritise their votes over our lives. We need change, now.”

“It is also vital that the SAPS account for their failures to keep our communities safe. Senior members of the SAPS management will appear before the Western Cape Standing Committee on Community Safety and Police Oversight on the 23rd of February, and I will ensure they account for these results,’’ concluded Bosman.

Police in the Western Cape, as well, as the provinces Police Oversight & Community Safety MEC, Reagen Allen, will brief the media in the province, in due course for a more indepth look at the latest crime stats in the Western Cape.


For Bush Radio News, I am Mitchum George

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