Murder cases 'surge' following lifting of alcohol ban: Bheki Cele

Police minister Bheki Cele says there has been an increase in the number of murder cases since the ban on alcohol sale was lifted.
Police minister Bheki Cele says there has been an increase in the number of murder cases since the ban on alcohol sale was lifted.
Image: GCIS

There has been a surge of murders since the ban on the sale of alcohol was lifted last week, police minister Bheki Cele said on Tuesday.

Cele made this revelation during a media briefing at the Jabulani hostel in Soweto on Tuesday, according to the SA Government News Agency.

He was in the area after six men were fatally shot on Monday evening. The police are searching for three men believed to be linked to the incident.

“Nationally, we’d sit back and complain about 30 people [per day] that have died [from murder],” said Cele. This was until last Monday, he said, when the ban on alcohol during the lockdown was lifted.

“Until Monday June 1, which is not an entirely dangerous day, for the first time since the lockdown, we got reports of 40 people killed. The next day there were 51 [murders] and there were 69 this past Sunday,” he said.

“That has now just gone up, including attempting murder ... and violence against women.”

Cele mentioned two women who were killed  this week, describing their murders as "brutal".

Naledi Phangindawo, 25, was allegedly hacked to death by a man close to her in Mossel Bay, in the Western Cape. The suspect has since been arrested.

Tshegofatso Pule, 28, was on Monday found hanging from a tree in Roodepoort, west of Johannesburg, after going missing on Thursday.

“It’s an issue that we raise as police and law enforcement that [perpetrators] of crime are well known to the victims. By the look of things, both these ladies were killed by people known to them. I’m not confirming that - the investigations are ongoing,” he said.

Cele said it was difficult for law enforcement to curb domestic violence as the police could not monitor people’s behaviour in their homes.

“In those situations we react, but it’s a question we agree we need to take up. We [need] to work very closely with all other structures and monitor closely gender-based violence, as [cases] can be brutal - as we have seen with the two ladies.”

He pleaded with men, communities and families to report abusive relationships. 


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