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South Africa records over 7,000 murders between July and September: Police

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows South African Police officers in Tafelsig, an impoverished suburb in Mitchells Plain, near Cape Town, April 14, 2020.

New police statistics show more than 7,000 people have been murdered by criminal gangs in a span of three months across South Africa.

On Wednesday, South Africa’s parliamentary portfolio committee on police heard details of the crime statistics, recording those crimes reported to the South African Police Service (SAPS) from July 1 to September 30.

Quarterly crime statistics showed a rise in murder, rape and kidnapping figures compared with the same period last year. The murder rate rose 14 percent during the period, compared with the same timeframe in 2021, when 6,163 people were killed. Virtually 1,000 women and more than 550 children were among those murdered during the period.

More than 13,000 women were also victims of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and 1,277 women were victims of attempted murder.

Rapes, in a country notorious for sex assaults against women and children, also recorded a huge jump. Kidnappings doubled to more than 4,000 in the three months, compared to the same time last year.

Commenting on violence against women and children, Police Minister Bheki Cele said, “The rate at which women are abused, violated and some killed in South Africa remains worrying and unacceptable.”

“The crime statistics again show that we as communities continue to fail to protect some of the most vulnerable in society: our children,” Cele said.

Carjackings rose 24 percent to more than 6,000.

The police minister promised that 10,000 new recruits would be ready to join the police force before the Christmas and New Year period, when crime typically rises. Their deployment “will intensify police visibility during the festive season and beyond,” he said. “Nothing will replace fighting crime [better] than warm bodies.”

Andrew Whitfield, a lawmaker with the largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, however, called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire Cele. “The bloodbath of violent crime remains out of control across the country with millions of people living in fear.”


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