71 people murdered in South Africa every day – these are the worst areas

 ·19 Aug 2022

The South African Police Service (SAPS) has published the latest crime stats for the first quarter of 2022/23 – representing crime data for April to June 2022.

While crime levels remained relatively flat in the quarter compared to the same period the year before – up slightly by 1.1% for reported community crimes – some crime categories showed alarming increases.

This included murder, with police data showing an 11.5% increase in the crime year on year.

Police minister Bheki Cele said that the increase in murders in the country is “worrisome”.

As many as 6,424 people were killed by other persons in South Africa in the first quarter of 2022/2023 financial year – an increase of 664 people murdered a year ago when the country was placed under Covid-19 lockdown level one and two, Cele said.

When averaged over the 91 days between April and June, that’s 71 people murdered in the country every day.

The SAPS noted that this equates to 11 murders per 100,000 people in South Africa for the three-month period – a rate which has steadily increased over the years, from eight per 100,000 in 2018.

The Eastern Cape has the highest murder per 100,000 population ratio at 18, followed by KwaZulu Nata at 14 and the Western Cape close behind at 13.8.

According to the SAPS, the three main causes for murders remain arguments and misunderstandings. Retaliation and revenge murders were also strong motives for murder, and vigilantism was the third most likely cause of murder.

Firearms are the most frequently-used murder weapon, followed by knives and other sharp instruments.

The uMlazi, Plessislaer police stations in KwaZulu-Natal and uMthatha station in the Eastern Cape registered the highest number of murder cases during this period, with 221 murder cases reported in those three areas combined.

“The police ministry and SAPS management recently met with Umlazi policing structures, traditional and religious leaders, business and the youth in an effort to tighten policing in the area,” Cele said.

“It is during this engagement that the improvement of police response time and shortage of vehicles and how environmental design impeded policing was raised sharply and is being urgently addressed at the national, provincial and local government level.”

The SAPS also investigated 284 dockets of multiple murders in which two or more victims were killed at a time.

The KwaZulu-Natal province recorded the highest number of multiple murders, followed by Gauteng and the Eastern Cape. The majority of these murders were committed with a firearm, Cele said.

The table below outlines the 30 worst precincts in the country for murder.

Read: These 13 crimes are worse than ever in South Africa

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