Fifty-seven people are murdered in South Africa every day, a statistic that requires more stringent action by the police.
This is according to Police Minister Bheki Cele who was speaking as the South African Police Service presented the Crime Statistics for the 2017/18 financial year at the Good Hope Centre in Parliament on Tuesday.
“The crime stats of this financial year – 2017/18 – are nothing to write home about, absolutely nothing to write home about. I think our emphasis should be on what is to be done rather than the crime stats, which don’t (sic) give any joy.
“The example I have all the time when I talk about these stats, it doesn’t matter what figures you give. But if you cannot deal with or control murder cases, you are not bringing any joy to the South African people.
“It doesn’t matter what else you reduce, but if people die and it looks like … 57 [people are dying] per day. That’s how many South Africans are murdered, 57 a day. It borders close to a war zone,” he said.
An eagle eye’s view of the murder statistics shows that 20 336 murders were reported during the period under review, which represents a 6.9% increase overall when compared to the previous year.
Cele said when looking at a 10 year overview, while police managed to bring down the murder rate from 18 084 in 2009 to 15 554 in 2010, the trend changed in 2013 when the rate spiked to 16 213. This trend has continued over the years to over 20 000 being killed this year.
Cele said as a result of the trend he has instructed the police’s top management that South Africans cannot be left to live in fear.
“I immediately say the South African Police Services dropped the ball for such figures to happen. I want to put it here that answer we must give is what is to be done because I have said to the members of the SAPS that never again we come here again to give such statistics or worse than this. It can’t be that South Africans are put under such stress and such fear… [for] murder,” he said.
Cele said while police need to do more to bring the murder rate down, it cannot be left to the police alone to arrest the situation.
The murder rate, meanwhile, provoked a reaction from Members of Parliament, with Police Committee Chair Francois Beukman stating that the 6.9% murder rate was “alarming and unacceptable”. – SAnews.gov.za