Police Minister, Bheki Cele, in his briefing on the crime statistics for Q2 of 2022/2023 once again failed to inspire confidence that under his leadership the Department of Police would be able to address the dire state of South Africa’s increasingly violent crime. In a meeting held with Members of Parliament earlier this week, the Minister failed to answer concerns regarding the crime statistics, instead, he was defensive of the corruption that is within the SAPS system.
From July 2022 to September 2022 a record number of assault cases were reported to the police in five years, with 7 004 people murdered by other persons in the country. In comparison to the 6163 persons murdered over the same period in the previous year, a further increase in murders indicates the lack of haste with which this is being addressed. Unfortunately, it seems as if our Police Department once again needed to first see an increase in the total number of murders before doing anything about it. Just like in the first quarter of 2022/2023 crime statistics discussion, the Minister is once again calling for “more boots on the ground”, our question is why were they not on the ground already?
The murder of women and children once again increased in the second quarter, with 989 women murdered, while 315 boys and girls aged 0 to 17 years old were also killed during the period. This represents an increase of 92 women and 28 children, respectively. These statistics are incredibly worrisome and disheartening, especially since we are leading up to the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign. How will the South African Police Service leadership inspire the vigorous protection of women and children between the period of 25 November and 10 December, when they have shown themselves to be incapable throughout the year?
These statistics paint a bleak picture for South African citizens. The SAPS provide no reason for citizens to regain confidence in their abilities, and crime prevention seems to be at an all-time low. Burglaries at residential premises have increased, from 35 949 to 40 550, in this quarter alone. This is disheartening for homeowners and occupants, as South Africans are not safe in their own homes and even outside the home setting. Contact Crimes have increased exponentially, 137 145 in the last quarter and in this quarter 162 518 is where they are currently sitting, an increase of over 18 %. This speaks to the level of violence that should be sparking the police service to action, as this level of violence is not normal in a society which is not in conflict.
The IFP is enraged, saddened, and disheartened by these statistics, as they seem to worsen each quarter. We do not care for the excuses made by the Minister of Police, as the comparison of these statistics to lockdown period statistics will not change the fact that these statistics represent the South African lives that were lost. We need leadership in the Department of Police that is proactive in their stance against murder, not one that creates new excuses every time they need to report on crime statistics.
Hon. Zandile Majozi
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