Murders on the rise

Despite the efforts by the government and non-governmental organisations to curb crime, residents and community leaders say crime remains intolerably high, particularly in black townships. This emerged when the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, released crime statistics for the period between April 2017 and March 2018, this week.

The reports revealed that 57 people in the country are murdered daily. Nyanga police station, is once again the country’s murder capital, along with Khayelitsha, Mfuleni, Philippi East and Gugulethu police stations which were among the 10 police stations with the highest number of murders in the country.

The report also painted a damning picture of Nyanga police station, with stats showing an increase from 281 murders during the last monitoring period to 308 in the latest period.

The number of sexual offences in the area, however, saw a decrease from 356 to 308.

There was a decrease in the number of reported rapes, from 256 to 210.

Robbery at residential premises, however, increased from 276 to 293 a did robbery at non-residential premises, from 40 to 58.

There was a spike in the number of truck hijackings, with five having been reported previously, and 21 in the latest monitoring period.

Another crime category which saw an increase was the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, from 122 to 168.

Gugulethu

Gugulethu police station, at number eight in the list of the 10 stations with the highest number of reported murders, saw an increase in this category from 136 to 182.

The number of sexual offences, however, decreased from 238 to 223, as did the number of common assaults, from 541 to 404. There was also a decrease in the number of reported rapes, from from 173 to 166.

While the recorded number of carjackings dipped from 157 to 101, robberies at non-residential premises increased from 32 to 50. There was also an increase in the number of drug-related crimes which was 1 711 and 1 826 this year.

Chairperson of the Gugulethu Community Policing Forum (CPF), Sonwabile Magida said the latest crime statistics released by Mr Cele was a true reflection of Gugulethu and thatmany of the crime perpetrators in the area were under the influence of drugs.

He added that they had always made it clear to the police that they should focus on apprehending drug dealers instead of confiscating alcohol from taverns.

He said whatever crime strategy that the management of Gugulethu police station had implemented, had failed.

He added that they had formed a partnership the CPF of Nyanga and created the Gunya Police Forum.

He said they had conducted extensive research over the period of a year in an effort to pinpoint who the criminals were and to identify crime hot spots.

He said they had submitted that report to the police. “NY89, Khikhi, 3A, KTC, New rest and NY 6 were crime hot spot area in Gugulethu. We are currently busy drafting a five-year crime intervention plan and when we are done we will hand it over to police,” he said.

“People that commit crime in Gugulethu were decent people who have families and homes. There are certain liquor outlets in the area where these criminals plan their actions. We have informed the police about that, but they don’t care about that,” he said.

Khayelitsha

In Khayelitsha, the number of recorded murders increased from 179 to 192 while sexual offences incidents also increased from 156 to 186, as did the number of rapes, from 139 to 156.

Chairperson of Khayelitsha Safety Forum, Mbulelo Boqwana, said the City should start installing CCTV cameras and that the reports proved that people were not safe and that all stakeholders should play their part to fight crime.

Langa

In Langa, the number of murders decreased from 57 to 52 while incidents of sexual offences increased from 53 to 66, as did incidents of robbery at non-residential areas, from 24 to 30.

In Philippi, there were increases in the number of murders recorded, from 65 to 87;sexual offences, from 69 to 88; incidents of rape, from 44 to 51; and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, from 100 to 114.

Mfuleni

The incidents of murder recorded in Mfuleni have increased from 125 to 157. The number of sexual offences, however, decreased from 230 to 167; as did the number of reported rapes, from 183 to 126, while carjacking has increased from 103 to 126. Mfuleni community leader, Thembile George said one of the problems they experienced was that there was no working relationship between the residents and police.