Aggression and violence are at worrying levels in South Africa, as emphasised by the grim 2022 crime statistics, released by Police Minister, Bheki Cele, on Wednesday.
“Violence meted not only against women and children, but violence playing out in homes, on our roads and even inside public safe spaces such as churches and schools, is staggering,” the Minister said.
The quarter, which spans from July to September, saw a record number of assault cases reported to the police in five years.
Over this period, 7 004 people were murdered in South Africa.
“Arguments, misunderstandings and incidents of road rage and provocations accounted for 956 murders in the country,” he said.
The Minister revealed that vigilantism claimed the lives of 528 people, while 362 people were killed during the commission of a robbery.
“Inanda and uMlazi police stations in KwaZulu-Natal and Nyanga in the Western Cape registered the highest counts of murder during this period,” he said, adding that 274 counts of murder were reported in those three areas combined.
He said the high murder rate can also be attributed to multiple murders, where two or more people were killed in one incident.
SAPS is investigating 250 dockets of multiple murders, with 578 victims. This included the mass shooting at Mdlalose tavern in Soweto, where 17 people were killed in July in a single shooting incident.
Police have since arrested five suspects for their role in that shooting.
The Minister said KwaZulu-Natal recorded the highest number of multiple murders, followed by Gauteng and the Western Cape.
“Equally, the police in the three provinces continue to make arrests and bring the gunmen and their handlers to book. Police operational responses nationwide, should continue to remove guns that are in the wrong hands,” he said.
During this period, 22 police officers were killed during July to September 2022, this is two members less compared to the same reporting period last year.
“It is on this note that this Ministry will never stop calling on SAPS members to defend themselves at all times from ruthless criminals whenever they are under attack. It is quite simple; police must meet fire with fire!” he said.
In the three months, Cele revealed that police investigated 85 640 assault GBH [grievous bodily harm] and common assault cases.
Of these 12 203 assault GBH cases, most took place behind closed doors – either at the home of the victim or the home of the perpetrator.
The second most likely place of occurrence for assault GBH was at public places such as streets, open fields, recreational centers or abandoned buildings.
A total of 6 662 assault GBH cases were domestic violence-related. – SAnews.gov.za