The recent crime statistics have put Nyanga and Khayelitsha among the country’s top 10 most dangerous areas to live in. The figures released by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, on Friday September 2, show that murder cases in Khayelitsha went up from 146 in the 2014/2015 monitoring period to 161 between April 2015 and March 2016. During the same period, Nyanga which has for years carried the undesirable mantle of the country’s murder capital, maintained its spot at the top of the list, with 300 murder cases compared to 279 .
Other stations that feature in the top 10 are Mfuleni, Gugulethu, Delft and Kraaifontein.
Burglaries in Khayelitsha increased to 487 from 474 during the previous monitoring period. However, robbery with aggravating circumstances has seen a major decrease, from 1 421 to 1 226, while attempted murder cases increased from 170 to 183.
Assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm has increased from 640 to 681. Common assault has * increased from 866 to 912 while common robbery has recorded decrease from 210 to 181.
Malicious damage to property dipped from 613 to 542 . Car jackings increased from 73 to 80 and illegal possession of fire arms and ammunition decreased from 132 to 98.
Attempted murder in Nyanga has gone up again, from 178 to 198 while robbery at residential premises has gone down from 760 to 746. Carjacking increased from 137 to 238. Drug-related crimes have spiked to 1 739 from 1 424.
Khayelitsha cluster commander Major General Johan Brand said a special stabilisation unit, consisting of members of various police units would be deployed in all the problematic areas.
He said Khayelitsha recently received additional personnel to help deal with crime. That would be boosted by the establishment of sector forums in all the areas.
Major General Brand said they would embark on awareness campaigns to inform the community of ways to avoid crime.
Last Thursday, September 1, advocacy groups Social Justice Coalition (SJC) and Equal Education (EE) marched to Premier’s Helen Zille office to demand the implementation of at least some of the recommendations of the Khayelitsha Commission of inquiry into police inefficiencies (“Demand for action”, Vukani, September1). Among these recommendations was that provincial government implement a task team to curb youth gangs in schools within a period of six months.
They claimed that Khayelitsha was one of most dangerous places to live and that every day in Khayelitsha at least one person is murdered, two people are raped, and almost five assaults with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm are committed.
Head of safety programmes at the SJC, Chumani Sali, said it was shocking that seven of the country’s top10 murder hot spots were in the province – specifically in black communities.
He said inadequate police resources in these areas was the main contributing factor. “In Camps Bay, the number of murders recorded was seven compared to zero the previous year,” he said.
“When you add the number of murders recorded at Harare police station, Lingelethu West police station and Khayelitsha police station last year they give you a number of 325. And when you the add up this year’s murder cases recorded in all these stations it gives you a number of 369,” he said.