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SA’s ‘bloodbath of violent crime remains out of control’, latest police stats reveal

SA’s ‘bloodbath of violent crime remains out of control’, latest police stats reveal

On Wednesday, Police Minister Bheki Cele released the 2022/23 second-quarter crime statistics, which revealed the sorry state of South Africa’s ever-increasing crime rates. We unpack the latest statistics in graphic form.

Police Minister Bheki Cele on Wednesday presented the quarterly crime statistics, reflecting on reported crimes committed in South Africa from 1 July to the end of September 2022. Murders, rapes and kidnappings had all increased.  

The statistics cover the second quarter of 2022/23, and Cele pointed out that the figures were compared with the same period in 2021 when South Africa was still under Covid-19 lockdown levels 2, 3 and 4.  

Read more in Daily Maverick: ‘Unacceptable’ spike in gender-based violence and femicide as lawlessness continues to grip South Africa 

The Police Recorded Crime Statistics report for the second quarter of 2022/23, showed that between July and the end of September 2022, 7,004 murders were committed. This is, on average, 76 murders every day. 

The statistics also show that every day between July and the end of September 2022, on average: 

  • 115 people were raped;
  • 448 people were victims of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm; and
  • 383 serious robberies occurred.


Between July and end-September 2022, 10,590 rape cases were reported nationally, compared with 9,556 last year — an increase of 10.8%.  

Mpumalanga was the only province with a decrease in reported rape cases. 


Crimes against children 

Cele shifted the burden of safeguarding children to the public, saying: “We as communities continue to fail to protect some of the most vulnerable in society: our children.” 

Between July and end-September 2021, 287 children were murdered in South Africa. For the same period this year, the number was 315 — a 9.8% increase. 

“Last month, the kidnapping, rape and brutal murder of four-year-old Bokgabo Poo shocked the nation and the world,” said Cele. 

“A four-year-old with so much to live for and look forward to, her life cut short by a man who has since been arrested,” he said.

Read more in Daily Maverick: A mother’s grief – ‘My dearest Bokgabo, they may have taken away parts of your body but your spirit lives forever’

Attempted murders of children went up from 283 to 294, while 1,895 children were the victims of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm between July and end-September 2022 — an increase of 225 incidents, 13.5%, over the same period in 2021.


Kidnappings doubled nationally, with 4,028 recorded between July and end-September 2022, compared with 2,000 in the same period last year — an increase of 2,028 cases or 101.4%.  

Gauteng recorded the most kidnappings (2,104), followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 785 and the Western Cape with 248.  


Organised crime 

“It is clear that the SAPS will, and must, continue to sharpen its responses to crime, including arresting some members of the SAPS who choose to work against the law,” said Cele. He added that “organised crime is also being dealt a blow”, as the SAPS, together with Interpol, trace and arrest wanted fugitives residing within South Africa’s borders.  

Daily Maverick’s Ferial Haffajee reported on a country assessment of South Africa’s organised crime which found that mafia-type crimes in the country had risen to alarming levels, on a par with Italy’s — racing past Mexico, Somalia and Libya.  

The minister commended ongoing arrests and take-down operations led by Interpol.  

“The latest arrest of a wanted Israeli gang leader and his seven accomplices in Bryanston should serve as a stern reminder to all that South Africa is not a hideout and playground for criminals,” he said.  

Read more in Daily Maverick: “Under wraps – Media and public barred from ‘most wanted Israeli crime kingpin’ court case in Johannesburg” 


Following the release of the crime stats, the DA Shadow Minister of Police, Andrew Whitfield, slammed Cele for the SAPS’s dismal performance under his watch, and again wrote to the President calling on him to fire Cele.  

“The latest crime statistics … confirm that the bloodbath of violent crime remains out of control … with millions of people living in fear.

“Under Cele’s leadership of SAPS, more people are being murdered, raped and assaulted than ever before while President Ramaphosa … continues giving Minister Cele his full support,” said Whitfield.

During his concluding remarks on Wednesday, Cele said communities had a role to play in lowering the crime rate.

“While the overview of these crime statistics may be disheartening at face value, they should not make us lose confidence in our endeavour to fight crime,” he said. DM



Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Patterson Alan John says:

    They need to change their police tape to ‘Crime Obscene’.

  • Graeme de Villiers says:

    76 murders and 115 rapes PER DAY in a 3 month period??
    In any civilised democracy, this would amount to a national disaster.
    It disgusts me that this is not the highest priority for the ANC to resolve, instead of bickering and backstabbing to scramble to the top of the dung heap, meeting irrelevent kings with a shiny begging bowl, supporting the demonic Putin and tolerating the gross negligence and mismanagement happening every day in the country.
    These figures should amount to an immediate resignation of Cele and all his crooked cohorts.

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