More than 900 women were murdered from October to December 2021.
This emerged when police presented crime statistics for October to December 2021 – the third quarter of the current financial year – to the Portfolio Committee on Police on Friday morning. Police Minister Bheki Cele was seated next to national police commissioner Khehla Sitole.
While there was an increase in murders, overall contact crimes decreased by 4%, compared to the same period the year before.
Major General Thulare Sekhukhune said the 6 859 murders in the third quarter were 562 more than in the same period the year before. This is an increase of 8.9%.
Attempted murders also increased by 3.5%.
However, sexual offences decreased by 9%, compared to the same quarter the previous year.
There were decreases in cases of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm (7.2%), common assault (1.7%), common robbery (11%), and robbery with aggravating circumstances (1.3%).
Police minister Bheki Cele during a media briefing on Friday, released the quarterly crime stats. Two thousand cases of kidnapping have been reported between the period of July and September. Cele called for more to be done to make South Africans safe.
A reported 902 women were murdered, and there were 1 240 attempted murders of women, as well as 15 692 assaults with intent to do grievous bodily harm involving women.
In the third quarter, 352 children – up to the age of 17 – were murdered; 394 were victims of attempted murder and 2 048 were victims of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm.
In their presentation, the police did not compare the statistics to the previous quarter, only to that of the same quarter of the previous financial year.
However, when the previous quarter’s statistics were compared to those presented, the murder figure also increased.
There were 6 163 murders from July to September last year.
There were also more women murdered compared to the previous quarter in which 897 women were murdered.
There were more child murders in the third quarter. In the previous quarter, 287 children were murdered.
While rapes decreased in the third quarter compared to the previous year’s third quarter, they increased quarter-on-quarter.
There were 9 556 rapes from July to September 2021, and 11 315 from October to December.
This also didn’t escape committee chairperson Tina Joemat-Pettersson, who said the police could not say rapes decreased.
She said there were, on average, about 123 rapes a day.
One is too much; 123 a day is completely unacceptable.
NFP MP Munzoor Shaik-Emam described the rape statistics as “very frightening”.
DA MP Ockert Terblanche said he was not very happy. He said, on average, 74.5 people are murdered every day, and five years ago, it was about 68 a day.
“I really think that is appalling,” he said.
“Women and children still remain incredibly vulnerable.”
On Monday, police fired stun grenades and tear gas at angry community members outside the Klawer Magistrate’s Court. Murder accused Daniel Smit made his first appearance in court after being charged with the murder of a Klawer teen.
FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald said he was concerned about mob justice, which showed that people were losing trust in the police
“Three hundred and fifty-seven murders [related to vigilantism] in only three months is really a serious concern about what is happening in South Africa,” Groenewald said.
He also said there were still too many instances where women tried to report attempted murder or assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, but were turned away.
Cele said: “Society will has to play a much broader role with murder.”
He said incidents happened where people should be safe.
Rapes are even worse, where people are raped by people known to them – boyfriends and fathers.
He is also concerned about friends and family members who persuade victims to withdraw cases.
“The families are playing a big role in not supporting the victims.”
Some members complained about corruption among police officers.
“Every family has a black sheep,” Cele said. He added that they are cut off from the police family once found.