Kwazakhele leads in Nelson Mandela Bay with most reported murders

Crime statistics show slight declines, but Eastern Cape still hotspot for violence

Police minister Bheki Cele has released the latest crime statistics for the first quarter of the 2023/2024 financial year
ALARMING FIGURES: Police minister Bheki Cele has released the latest crime statistics for the first quarter of the 2023/2024 financial year

Kwazakhele recorded the highest number of murders in Nelson Mandela Bay between April and June — with 50 cases recorded at the police station over the three-month period.

This was revealed by police minister Bheki Cele and a team of top police officials in parliament on Friday.

The delegation was delivering the latest crime statistics for the first quarter of the 2023/2024 financial year.

During the presentation, it was also revealed that Mthatha continued to lead the pack — albeit narrowly — with the most murders recorded during the same period.

The Mthatha police station beat Kwazakhele by one reported murder.

Overall murder cases have decreased in the province by 61 cases compared with the same period last year.

During the 2022/2023 financial year, 1,200 murders were reported during the period under review, however, this year, 1,139 cases were reported.

With several mass shootings in the area, the KwaNobuhle police station had the second-highest reported murders in the metro.

New Brighton dropped to third place for the most recorded murders in the Bay.

During the briefing, Cele said since they launched Operation Shanela — an extension of Gauteng’s Operation Okae Molao — 7,000 people had been arrested.

“We’ve created a tradition where every Monday, every provincial commissioner, as well as the ministry, looks at how we’ve done over the course of the weekend.

“Since starting the operation, we’ve arrested 70,000 people, which does not include last week.

“These are mostly people with outstanding arrest warrants, and for serious crimes such as rapes and hijackings.

“Another thing that worries us are the foreign nationals who are in the country illegally because sometimes it makes it difficult to trace them to crime in terms of fingerprints and DNA,” he said.

Cele also revealed that with the exception of Saturday, there had been a drop in crime being committed during weekends.

Looking at the stats, criminals struck mostly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The latest statistics also showed contact crimes had increased during the quarter.

Murder and sexual offences, however, saw a marginal decrease of 3.1% and 2% respectively.

A total 6,228 murder cases were reported, down from 6,424 during the same period last year, while sexual offences cases came in at 11,616, down from 11,855. 

DA MPL Marshall von Buchenroder said the relentless grip of crime in the province was suffocating the hopes of residents, who were trapped in a constant state of fear, at the real possibility of violence lurking just beyond their doorsteps.

“While there was a slight decline in the total number of murders, the Eastern Cape still has the highest murder rate per capita in the country, at 17.7 per 100,000.

“The province also had the highest rape rate per capita, at 22.2 per 100,000.

“Mthatha, recently in the spotlight due to its out-of-control crime, was again in the top 30 stations for both murder and rape.

“Nelson Mandela Bay remains a hotspot for truck hijackings, up 28.6% when compared with the same quarter last year.

“Four stations are in the top 30 for truck hijackings nationwide — Swartkops, Kabega Park, Kwazakhele and Despatch.

“The Eastern Cape government needs to develop a comprehensive safety plan to rescue this province from its spiral of violent crime,” Von Buchenroder said.

“The first quarter crime statistics for the period April to June 2023, revealed that you are more likely to get murdered or raped in the Eastern Cape than anywhere else in the country.”

Anti-crime activist Yusuf Abramjee said while some categories were slightly down for the reported period, the overall levels of violent crime were still very high.

He said the average murder rate now stood at almost 70 for the three-month period, adding that the number was much higher when one looked at the figures over 12 months.

“Crimes against SAPS  members are also up.

“About 31 cops were killed over three months compared with 18 in the previous quarter. 

“Farm murders, child murders and attacks on women are also on the rise.

“Criminals are continuing to terrorise our communities.

“Clearly, the SAPS are battling to bring crime under control.

“It's affecting our country in many ways,” Abramjee said.



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