Minister Bheki Cele: Quarter 3 Crime Statistics

Speaking notes for Police Minister General Bheki Cele (MP) on the occasion of the release of Quarter 3 Crime Statistics in Cape Town on 17 February 2023

Deputy Minister of Police Cassel Mathale;
National Commissioner of the SAPS; General Fannie Masemola;
Acting Deputy National Head; Major General Molatjana;
Deputy National Commissioners;
Provincial Commissioners and Divisional Commissioners; Acting Acting Secretary of Police; Mr Ramaru;
Senior SAPS Officers;
Heads of Entities;
All Heads of Department; Members of the Media

Good Afternoon.

The calls by South Africans on the police, to decisively deal with crime are LOUD and they are CLEAR.

I stand here before you this afternoon supported by the full contingent of the SAPS management, to say these calls by South Africans, are not falling on deaf ears.

The SAPS is and will continue to intensify intelligence led operations to take down individuals or organized criminals hell-bent on terrorizing communities.

We are enriched by the stabilization of the Crime Intelligence division of the SAPS, through the appointment of a Divisional Commissioner with a wealth of policing and investigative experience.

Lt General Khumalo, your job is cut out for you and your team.

While the crime figures we are releasing today don’t paint an overall positive picture of the crime situation in our country.

They do however, show that police are pushing back on criminality, through visible policing and disruptive operations.

Plainly put, the more boots on the ground was not just a slogan, their impact has been felt and starting to make a difference in our communities.

Investigations into mass shootings in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng and Kwa Zulu- Natal have resulted in arrests in Bityi and Nomzamo Pietermaritzburg and KwaNobuhle respectively.

We welcome the six out of the eight life sentences handed down by the Pietermaritzburg High Court on the Glebelands 8, who were behind the killing spree at the Durban hostel.

The political Task Team investigating murders in KZN continues to arrest hit men and those who order assassinations on their political rivals.

Police are also cleaning house and ridding the service of officers who choose to partner with rogue criminal elements.

In this financial year, 46 police officers have been dismissed for various transgressions.

With that said, we know and understand that police alone will not be able to drive out criminality on our streets in our alleyways, in our homes, schools and places of leisure and worship.

We call on communities to take charge and be allies in safety.

We are calling on residents of Mfuleni, Alexandra, Inanda, Seshego, Mitchells Plein, Diepsloot Umlazi and all the other policing areas with stubborn crime patterns, to be agents and activists against crime.

Someone Somewhere, Somehow  - Knows Something!

Yes it IS the job of police to prevent, combat and investigate crime, assisted by better environmental design and better social conditions.

A community-centered approach in the prevention and combating of crime will yield better results.

We call on ALL South Africans to be part of a Safety Partnership between civil society and community structures, religious and other organized groupings, business and law enforcement.

The Safety Partnership means YOU are no longer a spectator but an active player in keeping YOUR community safe.

Ladies and Gentlemen

The Crime Statistic figures released today reflect crimes reported to the South African police Service (SAPS) during October to December 2022.

This reporting period, includes the Festive Season period, where for the first time since COVID-19 reached our shores in 2020, there were no restrictions.

Essentially, this is the first festive season with increased movement of people and high number of social gatherings including family gatherings and celebrations.

We pre-empted the increased Festive season activities and the deployment of police to identified areas of concern were ramped up.

The deployment included the Project10 Thousand new police Constables who have and continue to increase the police’s footprint on the ground.  

It is encouraging that 10 thousand more recruits will be trained in 2023 and join the police service at the end of this year.

The 3RD quarter crime figures show that while there are increases in contact crimes such as murder, assault and robberies, there is significant improvement in crimes detected as a result of police action.

There are signs of improvements in crimes such as cash in transit heists and bank robberies which have reported decreases in the period of reporting.

These decreases are attributed to increased police visibility through patrols, stop and search operations, vehicle check-points and road blocks.

52 711 people were arrested for various crimes including murder, sexual offences, assaults, carjackings as well as other serious crimes, during the festive season.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As part of responding to the calls by South Africans, the capacitation and resourcing of the SAPS to improve its services at station level is on-going.


Discussions are underway within the Security Cluster to tighten the gaps and loopholes in the Criminal Justice System.

This includes the bail regime and the role parolees and ex-offenders are playing in the overall safety of citizens.

We all agree that punishment should fit the crime and the justice system and law enforcement should collaborate better.

At a cluster level, we are also engaging on the issues of porous borders, which has a direct impact on policing. 

Over 13 thousand illegal foreigners were arrested, during the period of reporting.

The SAPS management and this Ministry have also had promising engagements with our counterparts from Lesotho and Mozambique, around cross-boarder crimes and intensifying our collaboration on policing interventions.

Operation Vulindlela Reforms

Over and above legislation to bolster police work,

The Presidential service delivery acceleration programme, Operation Vulindlela, is aimed at accelerating service delivery in the SAPS, will further improve the effectiveness of law enforcement.

The policing reforms aim to significantly and urgently transform the SAPS 10111 Call Centres, which remain the heart of communication, between communities and the police.

National Commissioner,

We cannot allow for a situation where South Africans are not able to reach police when they are in need of help.

This is why the Reforms will among other things, address personnel shortages, through a mass recruitment drive.

Other technological advancements will be ushered in to ensure not a single call is not attended too.

Operation Vulindlela Reforms will also see the building and maintenance of police stations to ensure equal access to police services.

And the reforms will urgently address obstacles experienced in SAPS garages across the country.

Members of the media,

We have no doubt that Legislation amendments, policing reforms and renewed and strengthened Crime Intelligence and partnerships with communities will deal crime a heavy blow.

Funding is also a key component in our response to calls by South Africans.

We are responding to the shortage of vehicles in the SAPS, to improve the everyday work of police officers on the ground.

However the aftermath of COVID-19 has caused delays in delivery of police vehicles countrywide.

More patrol vans and high-powered vehicles have been ordered, to supplement visible policing and specialized units such as highway patrols, flying squad, to respond effectively to crime.


While integrated crime prevention and crime combatting operations, are critical in policing.

This Ministry is fast tracking pieces of legislation aimed at closing gaps that are hampering on policing and laws that bolster police work.

One such example is the Amendment of the SAPS Act, to strengthen the functioning of Community Policing Forums (CPFs).

The Amendments will ensure that CPFs are provided with some resources to enable them to function optimally.

CPFs are the police’s strongest link to communities and play an integral role in the Safety Partnership that we are calling on.

To date a total of 1 156 police stations in the country have active CPFs.

“Iphoyisa Iphoyisa Ngomphakathi”


Another call we are responding to, is the escalation of violent crime in our communities.

These crime statistics show that 7 555 people were murdered between October and December 2022.

Intense community centered and intelligence led-solution is needed to fully address the proliferation of firearms.

Again, Someone Somewhere, Somehow  - Knows Something!

Police are also on the pulse in removing illegal weapons off our streets.

In the past twelve months alone, police have permanently removed and destroyed 65 519 firearms.

The SAPS will continue to intensify operations to detect and remove illegal firearms and ammunition, whilst legislation intervention in the Amendment to the Firearms Control Act, to address the availability of guns in our communities, is underway.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Out of the 7 555 people murdered in the three months of reporting, 3 144 people were killed with a firearm, 2 498 people were killed with other weapons such as knifes, sharp and blunt instruments, bricks and in many cases bare hands.

It is clear, a broader conversation must be had about what is at the heart of violent crime in the country.

While gun violence is problematic and poses a serious threat to lives and livelihoods.

With the analysis of the current and previous statistics, it is quite evident that firearms are only part of a bigger problem.

At the core of the matter, is the human behavior.

We have to be honest as South Africans about the causes of violence and address them.

High rates of unemployment and poverty levels, the mushrooming of informal settlements with little to no services and other socio economic ills are breeding criminality, coupled by high number of undocumented foreign nationals, that are hard to trace after the commission of a crime.

It is said, “Indlala ‘ibanga ulaka.”

The violence that is stalking communities is translated to increased number of assaults, which escalate to attempted murders and in some cases murder.

The reality is assaults are feeders of domestic violence and other violent crimes. 42 years old Given Vhuromu, who was found guilty of 10 counts of rape and robbery of women and young girls in the Vuwani area in Limpopo.

He was handed down 4 life sentences with an additional 135 years behind bars.


Police are sharpening their responses to Gender Based Violence and Femicide from an operational and legislative point of view.

The Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act also referred to as the (DNA Act) will come into operation on the 3rd of March 2023. 

The DNA Act is a crucial weapon in the police’s arsenal of crime fighting tools against GBVF, specifically with regard to the identification of offenders.

This piece of legislation will remove serial rapists off our streets.

In our resolve to ensure perpetrators of violence against women children and vulnerable groups are brought to book.

From October to December 2022, 4 992 suspects were arrested for GBVF related crimes.

During the same period of reporting, 71 accused were handed down 89 life sentences.

219 accused were sentenced between 1 to 9 years imprisonment, culminating to a total of 1079 years behind bars.

143 accused were sentenced between ten to 19 years imprisonment, which is a combined sentence of 2 063 years imprisonment.

While 67 other accused were collectively sentenced to 20 years and more for GBVF related crimes.


Fellow South Africans,

It is alarming that a total of 5 935 rape incidents took place at the residence of the perpetrator/victim, including residence known by victims/ perpetrator, these are family, friends and neighbours.

We welcome the sentencing of the killer of the 8 year old Tazne Van Wyk, who was this week convicted to 9 life sentences and 259 and half years behind bars, for the gruesome murder and rape of the young girl.

The call on community’s to be allies against crime cannot be understated, when it comes to the prevention and combating of GBV and Femicide.

Someone Somewhere, Somehow  - Knows Something!

It remains a betrayal of humanity, to look away and ignore abuse and violence of anyone, let alone women children and other vulnerable groups in society.

Taking a video on your cell phone and sharing it on social media cannot be a normal response to a pandemic that this country is grappling with. 

When you see something, say something and do something.

Information from communities is crucial and can assist in police investigations.

Members of the media,

The SAPS has cleared its historic DNA backlog.

As of yesterday 16 February 2023, the DNA backlog which was initially over 241 thousand is now at 1 600.

This is a 99.3% reduction in the country’s DNA backlog figures.

We have completed the building and capacitation of the laboratory in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape, which will drastically relieve pressure from the Western Cape laboratory going forward.

As of today the SAPS and NPA project has resulted in 25  599 prioritized GBVF related court ready cases, which have been successfully enrolled.

As I conclude,

Police are using what is at their disposal amid budget cuts and growing population to police a violent society.

We thank the President and Treasury for the new approach in prioritizing the massive recruitment in the SAPS and further capacitation of specialised units.

This intervention will soon yield positive results in the overall fight against crime.

The truth of the matter is that poverty and inequality and unemployment coupled by little to no basic services is impeding on policing.

That is why the Integrated Crime and Violence Prevention Strategy, recently adopted by government to address the drivers of crime, must be fast tracked in order to boost safety and security in communities and the country as a whole.

Provincial Commissioners  

Police visibility will ALWAYS work in your favour, if we are to end the reign of criminals who are hell-bent on terrorizing communities.

Results and desired outcomes can only be achieved if management leaves the offices and leads from the front in the streets.

 ‘Operation Okae Molao’ in Gauteng is a model that will be replicated and be made a national policing feature, that brings fear to criminals and comfort to law-abiding citizens.

We are calling on all Provincial Commissioners to take a queue from Gauteng and intensify their provincial operations, focusing on troublesome stations and remove them from the TOP 30 high crime stations, both nationally and provincially.

With those words, let me hand over to Major General Thulare Sekhukhune who will give a Presentation which will reflect an overview of the 2022/2023 Quarter three crime statistics.

 I Thank you.

All Contact Crimes increased by 11.6%

Crime Category 




Sexual Offences 


Attempted Murder 


Assault to do grievous bodily harm


Common Assault


Common Robbery 


Robbery with aggravating circumstances


All Sexual Offences decreased by 25.4%

Crime Category 




Sexual Assault 


Attempted Sexual Offences


Contact Sexual Offences 



Crime Category




Robbery at Residential Premises


Robbery at Non-Residential Premises

- 3.0%

Robbery of Cash-In-Transit


Bank Robbery 

5 counts lower

Truck hijacking 


Contact-Related Crimes increased by 1.8%

Crime Categories



- 3.3%

Malicious damage to property


All Property-Related Crimes increased 7.2%

Crime Categories


Burglary at non-residential premises


Burglary at residential premises


Theft of motor vehicle and motor cycle

- 3.3%

Theft out or from motor vehicle


Stock Theft


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