S.Africa 'close to war zone' with 57 murders a day: minister

Cheryl Sanders
September 12, 2018

Police Minister Bheki Cele and Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole on Tuesday released the 2017/18 crime figures showing the national murder rate has increased by nearly 7%, which translates to 57 murders a day.

On average 56 people were killed a day in South Africa in the 12 months to March this year, an increase of 30 per cent in the past six years, officials said.

Politicians across party lines have expressed dissatisfaction with the almost seven percent increase in murders in South Africa.

According to the last figures for the 2016/2017 period, murder had increased by 1.8 percent while sexual offences and the number of reported rape cases had both decreased by over 4 percent.

The DA has also commented on the stats, calling them "a [devastating] reminder of how the ANC government is losing the battle to keep South Africans safe".

Francois Beukman, who heads the police oversight committee in parliament, described the numbers as "alarming and totally unacceptable". "Firearms drive lots of other crime‚ including robberies and of course murders and attempted murders".

South Africa has one of the highest murder rates in the world.

"SA Police Service dropped the ball‚ we literally dropped the ball for such figures to happen‚" he added.

Nyanga, in the Western Cape, remained the murder capital of the country, with an increase in murders of 9.6%.

"However, we welcome the fresh approach of the new top leadership of the police to recognise and tackle this problem".

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