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Friday, 17 November 2023 14:20

Cele admits crime remains stubbornly high, Nearly 7 000 people murdered.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Police Minister Bheki Cele has admitted violent crime is "stubborn", thousands of South Africans continue to be victims of contact crime.

Cele and the police top brass briefed Parliament's police committee on Friday morning.

The latest quarterly crime statistics - covering the period from July to September this year - indicate a reduction in the number of murder and rape cases.

The latest stats show a slightly more positive turn for reported crime in the country, although total numbers are up due to increased police action.

There is also a more positive year-on-year move for murder, where the category saw a slight decline of 0.8% in reported cases.

Of all the broad crime categories, contact crimes were the only one to increase. Contact crimes include the most violent crimes in the country, like murder, attempted murder, assault and sexual assault.

Contact crimes

In this category, the country recorded an increase in cases of sexual offences, attempted murder, assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, common assault, common robbery and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Only murder and sexual offences recorded a decrease.

In total, the number of contact crimes (crimes against the person) recorded from 1 July and end of September are 165,909, an increase of 3,391 compared to the same period last year.

At least 6,945 murder cases were reported, 59 less than the same period last year.

There were 6,911 attempted murder cases reported, 756 more than the same period last year.

Assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm cases have recorded an increased for years, with 42,297 cases reported, an increase of 1,046 from the same period last year.

Common assault cases recorded an increase of 959, with 45,348 cases recorded between July and September.

A total of 13,090 sexual offences were reported, down from 13,283 during the same period in 2022.

The country also saw an increase in robbery at residential premises, recording 6,045 cases, compared to 5,825 in the same period last year.


The country recorded 10,516 rape cases, compared to 10,590 in the same period last year.

There was also a decrease in the number of sexual assault cases reported, with 1,847 reported compared to 1,895 in the same period last year.

The police also recorded 6 009 hijackings, 6 045 robberies at residential properties and 4 910 robberies at non-residential premises.

Cash-in-transit robberies also had a resurgence, with 64 cases reported. No bank robberies were reported.

Cele said there were some green shoots in the crime stats.

He said, "Indeed, we think that we heading in some direction. That is not to say crime is [at] acceptable levels in the republic and to say that South Africans don't feel fear and don't feel irritated. [However,], there are several breakthroughs. We had a breakthrough on child pornography, [where several people have recently been] arrested. While cash heists are there, we are getting some sort of hold on it."

A report released by the Institute for Security Studies this week painted a bleak picture, showing a steady climb in the murder rate over the past decade to an apex of 45 murders per 100 000 people in the past year.  

KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Western Cape and Eastern Cape accounted for 83% of murders recorded across the country.