#CrimeStats | Boiling water, bare hands and knives, ways we come under attack

Police Minister Bheki Cele says the annual crime statistics for 2018-2019 are "not very rosy". File image
Police Minister Bheki Cele says the annual crime statistics for 2018-2019 are "not very rosy". File image
Image: Esa Alexander

A total of 21,022 people were murdered in South Africa between April 1 2018 and March 31 this year, while 52,420 were victims of sexual offences.

This is an increase of 1.4% and 4.6% respectively.

Shockingly, there were 736 murders committed by children.

The weekend contributes 60% of the murders (Friday to Sunday). If you include Monday, that figure goes to 70%.

These are some of the latest SAPS crime stats released in parliament on Thursday morning  briefing by national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole, SAPS statistics chief Major General Norman Sekhukhune and Police Minister Bheki Cele.

"There is a very high number of people that are murdered by people they know," Cele commented.

“Why do people behave like they are coming from moon on weekends?” Cele asked. He said they are seeking help from experts, including sociologists, in a bid to find answers to this question.

Most people are severely assaulted by attackers using their bare hands, but there are also an astonishing 1,724 cases of boiling water and 128 acid attacks.
Most people are severely assaulted by attackers using their bare hands, but there are also an astonishing 1,724 cases of boiling water and 128 acid attacks.
Image: SAPS

There are other crimes that go beyond policing, Cele signalled. Referring to the case in Mpumalanga where a mother killed her four children, he said, "It’s classified as murder but we are looking at getting a new code for that. Because police can’t police that."

WORST AREAS

All provinces have recorded increases when it comes to contact crimes.

Nyanga station in the Western Cape leads when it comes to trio crimes. But Gauteng has 19 stations featuring in the top 30.

Murder cases reported were highest in Nyanga (289), followed by Delft, Khayelitsha, Inanda, Philippi East, Mthatha, Umlazi, Harare in the Western Cape, Plessislaer and Gugulethu.

Attempted murder cases across SA increased by 4.1% to 1,898.

A 23.1% decrease in cash-in-transit heists was recorded while a 1% increase was noted in aggravated robbery with 140,032 cases.

Property-related crimes as a whole decreased by 12,804 (2.5%). Stock theft saw the biggest increase in this category (up by 2.9%).

There were 47 farm murders in 41 incidents.

Looking at the weapons used in crimes, the SAPS data reveals that knives are most common (4,720), followed by unidentified sharp objects (1,552) while in 506 cases, a brick was used to attack the victim. Bottles, sticks, sjamboks and machetes were also used while in 68 cases, the weapon was fire/matches.

Among the causes of murders were domestic violence (1,115 cases) and mob justice/vigilantism (789).

Arguments/misunderstandings accounted for 1,727 cases, armed robbery (751), gang-related (1,120), illegal mining (62) and taxi violence (321).

MURDER RATE

Cele said the murder statistics that started being recorded since the start of the democratic dispensation were at around 31,000. It had been going down by 1,000 each financial year from then and even went down by 2,000 around 2010/11.

It started going up again around 2012.

“What happened from 2012/13 up?It’s a question we must answer.”

“There were good practices that were dropped.”

He says as grim as the murder stat is for 2018/19, the increase in murder had been halved as compared to the previous financial year where murder had increased by 1300.

“We have halved the murder increase.”

He said “Women issues” murder and fear crimes like house robbery, house burglary remained serious challenges for the police.

Cele and Sitole said the crime statistics were vetted and declared official by SA's statistician-general.

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