Murder rate borders on war zone, says Cele

Murder rate borders on war zone, says Cele

Efforts to fight crime were hampered by repeated changes to top management at law enforcement agencies during former President Jacob Zuma's nearly nine-year tenure, while a stagnating economy and inflation-beating increases for state workers left no room in the budget to retain and hire officers.

The statistics covered the period from April 2017 to March 2018. Cele has asked for different sectors of society, to work more closely with the police to help curb the crime rate.

South Africa's murder rate rose again past year, official statistics showed on Tuesday, with over 20,000 killed across the country, about 57 a day, as police admitted they were struggling to keep control.

"We are concerned with the one of the biggest increases in murder since the advent of democracy in 1994", Gareth Newman, director for crime and justice programme at the Pretoria-based Institute of Security Studies (ISS) told AFP.

In the past year, 291 more women were killed than in 2017 - 117 more boys and 29 more girls.

He said the murder statistics "borders close to a war zone‚ while there is peace and there is no war in SA".

"It is clear that violent crime is a present danger to all South Africans and relevant communities‚" he said‚ adding that an urgent plan was needed.

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Nyanga, in the Western Cape, remained the murder capital of the country, with an increase in murders of 9.6%.

Sexual assault also increased by a significant amount, up by 8.8%, from 6271 in 2016-2017 to 6786 in 2017-2018.

"Our murder rate is on the increase". 3,915 women and children were murdered, in total.

He said three out of the seven crime categories decreased.

Attacks on cash-transporting security vehicles rose sharply by 56.6 per cent to 238 cases.

The question is, he said: "How do we collectively pick up the ball, change the game plan and re-position the police?"

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