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Statistic of out-of-control violence – 969 women murdered in South Africa in just three months

Statistic of out-of-control violence – 969 women murdered in South Africa in just three months
Minister of Police Bheki Cele. (Photo: Gallo Images / Brenton Geach)

Women continue to bear the brunt of violent attacks in South Africa. In the first three months of 2023, 1,0512 women were raped, 1,485 attempted murders of women were reported, 969 women were killed, and over 15,000 women were assaulted.

These alarming results were revealed by Police Minister Bheki Cele, on 30 May, when he released the South African Police Service’s (Saps) crime statistics and offences detected by police personnel from 1 January 2023 to 31 March 2023.

“Women of this country continue to be stalked by violence, mainly at the hands of men. A double-digit percentage increase of 21.5% was recorded in attempted murder figures for the 4th Quarter,” he said

According to Cele, the crime statistics further revealed that between January and March this year, fewer children were killed in South Africa compared to the same period last year. However, one child murder is one too many and the South African Police Service must strive for zero tolerance for the murder of children, he said.

“Child murders decreased by almost 20% (19.9%) and a slight decrease was also noted in assault Gender-Based Violence (GBV) cases of children. Sadly and alarmingly, 29 more children were victims of attempted murder compared to the same comparative period last year.”

The reported cases of violence committed against women and children include:

  • 360 more attempted murder cases were registered and investigated by the Saps involving minors;
  • A total of 1,485 attempted murders of women in South Africa in the first three months of this year;
  •  A total of 969 women were killed in the same period; and
  • Over 15,000 women were assaulted and the SAPS are investigating assault GBH cases.

Murders decreased countrywide, by 3.4% between January and March 2023. This is the lowest single-digit decrease recorded, compared to the previous three quarters.

A total of 6,289 people were killed with either a firearm, knife, sharp and blunt instruments and even bare hands, between January and March this year. Most of the killings took place in the KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Gauteng provinces with arguments, vigilantism and robberies topping the motive list for murder.

KwaZulu-Natal also reported the highest figures of multiple-murder cases, followed by the Eastern Cape with 206 and 155 victims respectively.

Free State, Northern Cape and Western Cape provinces recorded decreases in murder figures with both the Western Cape and Northern Cape reporting double-digit decreases in murder cases.

This is a modest drop from the Police Recorded Crime Statistics report for the third quarter of 2022/23, which revealed that 7,555 murders were perpetrated between October and the end of December 2022. A total of 7,004 people were killed in the second quarter of the 2022/2023 financial year.

To address murder and other contact crimes, R65-million has been allocated to the top 30 crime-heavy stations to address murder and other contact crimes.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Bheki Cele’s police budget highlights progress, but opposition points out gross failures

Cash-in-transit heists have also been on the rise, and Cele is optimistic that newly legislated surveillance device technology will bring about significant improvements in this and other organised crime.

The Police Minister was questioned about the large number of fugitives hiding in South Africa, with special references to the recent Bulgarian murders and the arrest of Rwandan genocide suspect Ukiliho Kayishema Fulgence.

In his response, Cele reiterated that South Africa is a member country of Interpol, meaning Saps doesn’t work alone when it comes to such cases.

“The arrest of the Rwandan was quite a thorn in the flesh of South Africa, especially when it comes to the international relationships because he has been declared for some time as a highly wanted person in Rwanda.”

He added that one cannot deny that organised crime and international syndicates have made South Africa their home.

“While people find the safe havens here, I think the law enforcement working together with their international counterparts, especially through Interpol, are doing what we can to try not to be the heaven for those,” he said.

Cele was also grilled on hired hitmen in KwaZulu-Natal, who allegedly carried out murders throughout the country. One such case is that of the murder of advocate Piet Mihalik who was gunned down on 30 October 2018. Mihalik was dropping off his daughter at school in Green Point when he was assassinated.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Alleged killers of Cape Town lawyer Pete Mihalik finally go on trial — four years later

In his response, the Police Minister stated the special political task team that was put in place in 2018 has arrested 336 hitmen in KwaZulu-Natal. Almost 50 of those people were sentenced to life or between 10 and 50 years and there are many ongoing cases. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Graeme de Villiers says:

    Sickening, shocking, appalling, disgraceful. And Cele lauds the percentage “drops”.

  • jcdville stormers says:

    Whatever the ANC touches is destroyed, bumbling thieving communist idiots

  • John Smythe says:

    15 000 woman assaulted! 10 000 raped (you got your commas mixed up there DM)! And those are only the reported cases. People have very little confidence in SAPS to solve criminal cases anymore and so don’t bother reporting it. It’s no wonder that SA is considered one of the crime capitals of the world. How can it ever get better?

  • Alaric Nitak says:

    But, but, but… that’s only 4000 women murdered each year, as compared with 24000 total murders. The remainder are, presumably, mainly men. Shouldn’t we be getting worried about that?

  • Nos Feratu says:

    The comparisons of increases/decreases are interesting but why not give us all the stats? The hard numbers of car thefts, house robberies, cash heists etc?

  • Bryan Macpherson says:

    This is the ongoing legacy of the ANC government – the murder of women, the death of children from cholera and criminals acting with impunity. Amazingly, Business South Africa says the country is “in danger of becoming a failed state”. Becoming!!

  • TREVOR FOX says:

    Nothing to be proud of in those figures. And Cele keeps his job – really ???????

  • virginia crawford says:

    It’s probably safer in Ukraine. These figures depict a low level civil war.

  • Confucious Says says:

    Cele and his hat collection are just going about their thing, bumbling around, having coffees and dancing. He has neither a clue, nor a care and no ability to change the crime situation whatsoever.

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