South Africa


Ninety killed in Western Cape mass shootings over three months

Ninety killed in Western Cape mass shootings over three months
Reagen Allen (left), Western Cape MEC for Community Safety and Police Oversight, and Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile, Western Cape Police Commissioner. (Photo: Gallo Images / ER Lombard)

Police statistics show that between April and June, 90 people were killed in multiple-victim murders in the Western Cape, with 37 dockets opened.

Police statistics reveal there were 994 murders reported across police stations in the Western Cape in the space of just three months.

On Monday, Western Cape Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile and the province’s MEC for Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen, unpacked the results of the 2022/2023 first quarter crime statistics at the provincial headquarters of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in Green Point.

The statistics cover the first quarter of the financial year — the period from April to June. During this period, the number of reported contact crimes in the province was 25,178, an increase of 853 (3.5%) from the same period last year, when there were 24,325 reported contact crimes.

There were 994 murders reported in the quarter. During the same reporting period last year, South Africa still had several restrictions under the Covid-19 lockdown. During that reporting period, there were 992 murders.

While sexual offences and attempted murders have dropped, offences of common assault, common robbery and robbery with aggravating circumstances have all increased.

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Nyanga police station (965) had the highest number of reported contact crimes, while Delft police station (62) had the highest number of reported murders. Kraaifontein police station recorded the most attempted murders (40), while Delft police station recorded the highest number of reported sexual offences (67).

Over the past several months, there have been a number of mass shootings in the province. Police statistics revealed that with 37 dockets opened, there were:

  • 26 cases with two victims;
  • Eight cases with three victims;
  • Two cases with four victims;
  • Zero cases with five victims; and
  • One case with six victims.

In total, there were 90 victims.

Monday’s unpacking of the provincial crime figures followed the release of the national statistics, released on Friday by Police Minister Bheki Cele, which showed an increase in reported murders, but a drop in several other reported crimes, including sexual offences.

Bheki Cele: Murders increase but South Africa registers a drop in assaults and sexual offences

During the national breakdown of the crime statistics, Cele said: “The Western Cape has made inroads in arresting a man who is believed to be the mastermind behind the extortion-related multiple murders in areas around the Cape Metropole.”

Last week, Daily Maverick reported that three men appeared in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court on charges related to mass shootings which took place in Khayelitsha. Two of the three men were also charged with the murders of Khayalethu Nelani, Athenkosi Bonkolo, Mthokozisi Mhlakaza, Asanda Nofemela, Sivuyile Lubobo and Fundisile Mxhontwa, who were shot on 8 May in Khayelitsha.

According to the police, the motive for the mass killing — which was reported to the Khayelitsha police station — was possibly related to revenge or retaliation.

“More suspects have also been arrested and are going through the court processes answering to their alleged roles related to the multiple murders,” said Cele during his breakdown of the crime figures.

After the briefing, MEC Allen said: “Although the murder rate only increased by two additional cases, the overall total of 994 murders remains too high and is deeply concerning… in fact, one murder is one too many and it is critical that we strengthen our fight against crime in general.” DM


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