Police Minister Bheki Cele on Friday released crime figures that paint a grim picture of life in South Africa with as many as 6 163 people murdered and nearly 10 000 others raped in just three months.
Cele said the crime figures presented were for the period 1 July 2021 to the 30 September when the country was under Lockdown levels four, three, and two.
During this period 1 744 people were killed in KwaZulu-Natal while 229 people were murdered in Gauteng.
“These crime figures are certainly not reflecting a crime holiday,” said the police minister.
What was even more harrowing was that the data shows that as many as 1 334 murders occurred at the home of the victim or of the perpetrator.
Cele said from a sample of 5 176 cases it was determined that a total of 2 424 people were murdered in public places such as streets, open fields, parking areas, and abandoned buildings.
Some 424 of the murders occurred at taverns, shebeens, nightclubs and bottle stores.
Liquor outlets are the third most likely place an individual could be killed in South Africa.
Not even the police were spared from the slaughter – Cele revealed that 23 officers were killed during the period under review.
Women, girls, and children continue to be attacked in huge numbers.
Cele said police recorded 9 556 rapes, with about a third of the attacks happening in the homes of victims.
Police stations that recorded the highest number of rapes were Temba (Gauteng), Thohoyandou (Limpopo), Lusikisiki (Eastern Cape), and Inanda (KwaZulu-Natal),.
“With almost 10 thousand people being brutalised and sexually violated in just three months in South Africa, is a disgrace and deeply disturbing,” said Cele.
“The majority of people raped are women and those most vulnerable in our society.
“These statistics show they are often violated by people they know and trust, in the comfort of their own homes or in places where they thought they were safe.”
Other crimes reviewed included farm murders, assaults, and break-ins.
Cele said 15 murders occurred on farms and small-holdings between the months of July and September 2021.
Some 72 762 cases of common assault and assault GBH were opened with the police in the three months of reporting.
More than 13 000 of the assault cases involved domestic violence – meaning the victim and perpetrator have a relationship.
Alcohol and drugs were involved in 3 695 of the assault GBH cases.
The top three areas of occurrence of these assaults are at the home of the victim or perpetrator, public places, and liquor outlets.
“Arguments remain the top motive for assault cases, more than 13 000 of the assault cases were reported for this reason, followed by retaliation or revenge,” said Cele.