Murder rate climbs as police 'drop the ball'

Minister of Police Bheki Cele briefs the media following the presentation to the portfolio committee on police on the 2017/2018 crime statistics on 11 September 2018

Police Minister Bheki Cele has revealed that 57 people are murdered in South Africa every day.

Many murders were linked to gang violence in Western Cape province, whose capital is Cape Town.

Police have released crime statistics showing 20,336 people were murdered in South Africa between April 2017 and March, compared to 19,016 in the previous year.

The number of homicides increased 7% to 20 336 - an average of nearly 56 a day - in the 12 months through March, the police service said in its annual crime statistics report on Tuesday.

He says it must not be a norm that citizens are hijacked, robbed and killed on a daily basis.

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

Francois Beukman, who heads the police oversight committee in parliament, described the numbers as "alarming and totally unacceptable".

South Africa has one of the highest murder rates in the world. "We need a better criminal justice system so that murderers are locked up and keys thrown away".

"SA Police Service dropped the ball‚ we literally dropped the ball for such figures to happen‚" he added. The stats for murders, rapes and other sexual assaults, have all increased, according to the latest crime stats.

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