Police minister Bheki Cele has published the latest crime statistics for South Africa, covering criminal activity reported between July and September 2020.
The data shows a massive uptick in criminal activity almost across the board when comparing numbers against the previous quarter (April to June 2020) – this is largely due to the previous quarter being during the heightened lockdown.
However, the level of crime has still declined compared to the same period as last year, with a decrease in the number of murders recorded across the country.
For the period between 1 July and 31 September 2020, the SAPS recorded 5,107 murders in the country, a decrease of 6.2% from the same period last year.
When considering the total population statistics for the country, the SAPS said that this equated to approximately 8.6 murder per every 100,000 South Africans over the quarter.
Despite the decline, the data shows a clear increase in cases as the country continued to ease movement restrictions and moved to a level 1 lockdown.
As with the country’s other major crimes statistics, the majority of cases were reported in the country’s most populous areas. KZN reported the highest number of murders over the reporting period (1,208), followed by Gauteng (1,091) and the Western Cape (1,013).
Every province reported a decline in the total number of murders compared to the same period as last year, although the SAPS’ data shows that this is steadily increasing.
Khayelitsha in the Western Cape reported the most number of murders (94 murders), followed by Harare in the same province (60 murders). Inanda in KZN was the area with the most murders (57 murders) reported outside of the Western Cape.
The Western Cape has eight of the top areas with the most murders in the country, with just two areas in KZN making up the rest of the top ten. Kagiso in Gauteng (30 murders) is the only area outside of these two provinces to feature in the top 15.
“From a sample of 4,290 murder dockets, an analysis revealed that 1,992 of the murders occurred in public spaces such as beaches, parks, streets or open fields (1,992 murders over the period),” said Cele in his presentation.
“Over 900 people were killed in their homes or the homes of those that ended their lives.”
When looking at the key causative factors for South Africa’s murders, the SAPS said that the largest portion of murders are the results of arguments and misunderstanding (675 murders). Road rage incidents and provocation are also included in this tally.
Residential, business and street robberies are the second biggest factor which led to murders in the country (304 murders), followed by vigilantism and mob justice (203 murders). Gang-related murders also rank highly (200).