South Africa's murder rate up almost 7 per cent, police say

Minnie Murray
September 12, 2018

"It borders on a war zone", the visibly angry minister said.

Presenting the figures to parliament, Norman Sekhukhune, the police official responsible for crime statistics, said the murder rate had increased for six consecutive years.

Minister of Police Bheki Cele briefs the media following the presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Police on the 2017/2018 crime statistics.

Cele revealed earlier today that over 20 300 people had been murdered during the last financial year, which meant the murder rate had increased by 6.9 per cent.

"The figures that always scare me are murder figures", he said. Forty-two of the murders occurred on farms, 15 on small holdings and one at a cattle post.

US President Donald Trump last month ignited a firestorm of debate when he claimed on Twitter that there was a "large-scale killing of farmers" in South Africa - where the government fiercely rejected his accusations.

Yet in Umlazi, in KwaZulu-Natal, there was an even more sobering increase in murders reported, up by 19.3 % from 187 to 223 murders.

Sitole also revealed that there was a "deficit" of 62 000 SA Police Service (SAPS) members.

KwaZulu-Natal is the most unsafe province for women and children, as 20 per cent of the murders occurred within KZN borders.

"Our police need better training, equipment and resources".

The question is, he said: "How do we collectively pick up the ball, change the game plan and re-position the police?" In Dundee, 17 murders were reported over the period (2017/2018 financial year) an increase of two cases.

Attacks on cash-transporting security vehicles rose sharply by 56.6 per cent to 238 cases.

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