Speaking notes delivered by Police Minister General Bheki Cele (MP) at the occasion of the release of the quarter two crime statistics 2023/2024 hosted in Pretoria On Friday 17 November 2023
National Commissioner of the SAPS; General Fannie Masemola;
Acting National Head of DPCI Lt General Nkosi
Deputy National Commissioners; Lt Gen Sibiya
Provincial Commissioners and Divisional Commissioners;
Acting Secretary of Police; Mr Ramaru
Senior SAPS Officers;
Heads of Entities;
All Heads of Department;
Members of the Media
The National Crime figures we are releasing today, stem from cases reported to and detected by the SAPS from 1st of July to 30th September 2023.
For the second consecutive quarter, there has been a decrease in the country’s murder figures.
A 3.1% decline in murders was noted between May and July and now there has been a 0.8% drop in the number of people killed between July and September in South Africa.
Fellow South Africans, the drop in murders is reflective of the SAPS’s continued efforts to combat crime, through decisive police action and robust community involvement.
I wish to make this point very clear; The second consecutive drop in the country’s murder figures is in no way, a claim of any victory by the SAPS.
While there are green shoots, one murder is one too many.
We believe the declines are as a result of a combination of operational policing strategies as well as policy interventions, that we are seeing an improvement in crime.
Over and above ongoing policing operations, we know this administration has gone to lengths in capacitating critical units of the police service, in order to keep communities safer.
This includes the overhauling and strengthening of the management of the Crime
Intelligence division, drastically improving crime detection capabilities of the police.
Crime Intelligence capacity has also been strengthened at Top 30 crime heavy police stations.
The Intelligence officers have also been supplied with adequate resources including vehicles and other tools of trade to gather intelligence.
SAPS units responsible for the investigation of organised crimes have also been bolstered at both provincial and national levels, to infiltrate criminal syndicates.
The recruitment drive of thousands more police officers under Project 10 thousand;
to boost police numbers at stations in all provinces, continues to gain momentum.
The decrease in murder figures shows that the targeting of crimes in hotspots, must be maintained and further strengthened.
It is also through our intensified National policing approach to prevent and combat crime during high- density Operation Shanela, that we are beginning to break even and seeing decreases in certain crime categories.
Operation Shanela; which is on its sixth month running, is effective and continues to be altered guided by crime pattern analysis.
While the crime figures for July to September this year show an increase in contact crimes, the drop in sexual offences, TRIO crimes, contact related and property related crimes as well as other serious crimes, is encouraging.
The tracking and tracing of most wanted suspects has also been prioritised in conjunction with everyday policing at station level.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
To date, Operation Shanela has resulted in the arrest of over 226 thousand suspects including some of the most wanted and dangerous criminals.
Police will continue to hunt for the more persons of interest involved in organised crime.
It is on this score, that police stations must be further empowered and equipped to carry out weekly high visibility operations.
These include amongst other strategies, frequent foot patrols for the prevention of these contact crimes in our communities.
A sharp focus on police stations will mean all station commanders are closely monitoring their unique crime situations and put in place relevant operational plans to curb crime.
We are sure this approach IS the right one and as we continue to diligently implement it, we will further improve safety and security in our communities.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Despite the overall drop in the country’s murder rate, between July and September this year, 6 945 people were murdered in South Africa.
Out of the people killed during this reporting period, 881 were women and 293 were children.
35 police officers were killed on and off duty, between July and September 2023 as well as 19 law enforcement officers attached to National, provincial and local government as well as private security.
Members of the media,
It remains encouraging that the KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo provinces reported double-digit percentage decreases in their murder rates.
This is despite KZN experiencing numerous mass shootings, claiming three or more lives at a time.
While the Inanda and Umlazi police stations which have previously reported the highest murders in the country are still leading in this crime, they have reported decreases in murders during this reporting period.
The Eastern and Northern Cape provinces also saw slight drops in incidents of murder during this reporting period.
This is despite that the Eastern Cape too has recorded multiple shooting incidents, fuelled by drug and vigilante related motives.
Five provinces, namely; Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Western Cape, Free State and the North West recorded increases in murders.
As was the case in previous quarters, the majority of people killed in South Africa are murdered during arguments, misunderstandings and provocations that usually take place in social settings.
Arguments, vigilantism and robbery remain the top three causative factors for murder in majority of the provinces.
Firearms, knives and sharp instruments are likely to be used as murder weapons.
Firearms alone claimed the lives of 3 106 victims.
Police have, between July to September 2023 removed 2 175 firearms off the streets through police operations.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On the eve of the 16 days of activism against GBV, the ministry is motivated by the SAPS’s continued successes in bringing to book GBVF perpetrators.
This includes the recent identification and takedown of 27 sexual predators in the country.
In October we saw sentencing of Mario Giusti, sentenced to 6 400 years in jail found guilty of more than 1000 charges of child pornography.
It is clear, attacks and violence meted on women, children, the elderly and the most vulnerable in this country, remains shameful.
The scourge of violence against women and children in South Africa, must be confronted equally by law enforcement, the whole of government and the whole of society, head on.
The Police Ministry has noted with extreme concern, the recent brutal stabbing of a Western Cape University female student, in broad daylight.
The SAPS continues to upscale its responses to this form of crimes through increased operations to trace GBV perpetrators, arrest serial offenders as well as serial rapists.
Our docket analysis shows that the arrest of serial sexual offenders is reducing incidents of sexual offences.
Sexual offences have decreased by 35.9% between July and September this year.
The SAPS continues to collaborate with social partners to eradicate the scourge of GBVF and educate communities on the matter.
As part of some of the crime prevention programs carried out by the police service, dialogues in various communities targeting men, who are largely GBV perpetrators, are taking place.
We support a similar continental program targeting men around the issue of GBV, the African Men Conference hosted by the African Union will take place in South Africa on the 27th to the 28th of November 2023.
Women and children
The statistics show that less women and children were killed in South Africa, between July to September 2023, (decreasing by 10.9% and 7.0% respectively.)
However and disturbingly, the crime figures show that far too many women and children in this country are NOT safe around people that they know and trust and at times those that they love and in the places were they are supposed to be safe.
Between July and September 2023, 1 514 incidents of attempted murder, involving female victims were reported.
Furthermore, females were victims in 14 401 Assault GBH incidents reported to the police during the reporting period.
Children have not been spared from the brutal attacks and abuse, 293 children were killed between July to September 2023.
In the same period, 361 incidents of attempted murder and 1 820 of Assault GBH were perpetrated against children.
10 516 Rape incidents were reported to the SAPS between July to September this year.
4 726 rape incidents took place at either the home of the rape victim or the home of the perpetrator which are known to the victim, such as a family member, a friend or a neighbour.
In an effort to ensure that police stations deliver victim-centered services to victims of sexual violence.
As the Ministry, we are motivated by the continued availabilty of evidence collection kits or so called ‘Rape Kits’;
As well as the improvement of support services at stations for survivers of sexual violence.
The historic DNA backlog which was standing at over 240 thousand two years ago has now been cleared.
SAPS forensic laboratories across the country continue to work optimally and relevent contracts crucial for the functioning of labs are in place.
The consumables essential for the processing of samples continue to be procured.
These policy interventions are coupled with functioning of GBV Desks at police stations countrywide.
These Desks are staffed with officers trained in GBVF-related courses as well as Victim Empowerment, Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences related programs.
Members of the Media,
It is not coincidental that ALL property related crimes such as burglaries at people’s homes and business premises, theft of motor vehicles, recorded reasonable declines.
Stock theft crimes are also on a decline, after recording a 5.5% decrease during this reporting period.
On this note, the SAPS Rural Safety Strategy continues to function and we are satisfied with the methodology of crime statistics gathered for the farming communities.
Crimes that instill fear amongst the people of this country have also declined;
These include TRIO CRIMES such as carjackings and property robberies.
However, it does remain concerning that robberies at people's homes are still on the increase.
In this regard, your management team must zone in on this crime trend and put in necessary interventions.
These must include regular police patrols and working closer with the private security sector and community patrollers.
These statistics give us a sober analysis of the effectiveness of policing efforts to keep South Africans and their properties safe.
These numbers are also used to redirect resources to where they are needed most, in order to better respond to the common enemy of crime.
This redirection of resources I am referring to, is clearly demonstrated through the decline is certain crime categories in the top four crime heavy provinces, namely KZN, Western Cape, Gauteng and Eastern Cape.
These provinces have collectively reduced many of their contact crimes, including TRIO crimes, robberies sexual assaults and assaults during this reporting period.
Ladies and gentlemen,
What is clear and should never be ignored is that the crime figures should and MUST serve as a call of action for government, business, NGOs, civil society and communities to come on board in the fight against crime.
We are confident that the unprecedented 70 million rand funding for Community Policing Forums (CPF) across the country, will go a long way in further boosting community policing efforts.
We are always appreciative of community members who work hand in glove with police to confront crime.
Lastly, as we head closer to the Festive Season, this Ministry and SAPS management wish you all a peaceful and much needed rest.
Know and trust that the SAPS and all law enforcement agencies will be out in full force, to maintain law and order.
All police officers, police reservists, including office bound members will be roped in to assist in Festive Season policing operations.
This force multiplier is over and above the 10 thousand more police officers who will graduate on the 15th of December from police colleges and commence their services to communities.
The SAPS has employed a huge number of police reservists, permanently in the service, in the past two years, hence the figures of the current reservists has declined.
The training of reservists will continue after the completion of the targeted Project 10 thousand over the medium term.
It is on this score that we want to give a firm warning to criminals and those who plan to conduct themselves outside the law.
Police are under strict instruction to squeeze out criminality and all its manifestations.
Ingalo yomthetho yinde, futhi ayikhethi bala lamuntu!
The arm of the law will NOT be selective, nor will it be kind.
The South African Police Service will not negotiate with criminals.
With these opening remarks, let me hand over to Major General Thulare Sekhukhune to give a detailed breakdown of the crime statistics.
I thank you all.
Total Contact crimes increased by 2.1%
Crime Category Figures
Sexual Offences -1.5%
Attempted Murder 12.3%
Assault to do grievous bodily harm 2.5%
Common Assault 2.2%
Common Robbery 3.7%
Robbery with aggravating circumstances 1.1%
Total Sexual Offences decreased by 35.9%
Crime Category Figures
Sexual Assault -2.5%
Attempted Sexual Offences 4.3%
Contact Sexual Offences -35.9%
Crime Category Figures
Robbery at Residential Premises 3.8%
Robbery at Non-Residential Premises -7.3%
Robbery of Cash-In-Transit 8 counts higher
Bank Robbery 3 counts lower
Truck hijacking -3.4%
Total Contact-Related Crimes decreased by 1.6%
Crime Categories Figures
Malicious damage to property -1.4%
Total Property-Related Crimes decreased by 4.1%
Crime Categories Figures
Burglary at non-residential premises -5.3%
Burglary at residential premises -5.9%
Theft of motor vehicle and motorcycle -3.5%
Theft out or from motor vehicle 0.3%
Commercial Crimes increased by 3.8%
Total Other serious crimes decreased by 1.0%
Total Community reported serious crimes decreased by 0.5%
Crime Category Figures
All theft not mentioned elsewhere -4.2%
Commercial Crime (fraud, scams, corruption etc.) 3.8%