Police Minister Bheki Cele admitted, on Friday, that his department has to go back to the drawing board to strategise on how to tackle cash-in-transit robberies which has seen 26 more attacks in the third quarter of 2020/21.
“We will also, in the coming days, meet with the CEOs of the cash-in-transit industry on this matter,” said Cele.
He released the country’s crime statistics for October and December 2020, which saw a 6.6% increase in murders. This means 389 more people were killed compared to the corresponding period in the previous financial year.
These deaths were related to arguments, robberies at a households and businesses, mob justice incidents and gang-related killings.
A total of 2 481 people were murdered in public places and 1 643 murders occurred at the home of the victim or the perpetrator.
Mpumalanga province recorded the highest increase of 13.7% when compared to the corresponding period in the previous financial year.
Limpopo, North West and Northern Cape provinces recorded a decline in their murder cases.
Cele explained that 193 of the murders were as a result of domestic violence.
There was a 5% increase in sexual offences detected as a result of police action – 12 218 people were raped between October and December last year.
This is an increase of 181 cases, amounting to a 1.5% increase compared to the previous corresponding reporting period.
Inanda and Umlazi, in KwaZulu-Natal, and the Eastern Cape’s Lusikisiki police stations recorded the highest incidents of rape.
Cele stressed that gender-based violence and femicide remained priority crimes for the South African Police Service (Saps).
He said his department was working on improving the services and responses at a station level.
“As the Saps we are motivated that numerous life sentences have been handed down for crimes committed against women and children. In the three months of reporting, the sexual offences units secured 129 life sentences. 389 more people were killed compared to the corresponding period in the previous financial year,” he said.
Aggravated robberies, such as carjacking, increased by 7%.
Cele said there had been a noticeable increase in the targeting of delivery vans and trucks.
The majority of the vehicles, including courier vans, were targeted for their cargo, which is usually food, appliances and other priced goods.
On farm attacks he said 19 people were killed in 18 incidents of murder which occurred at farms and on small holdings.
“While most of the people died at the hands of criminals, unfortunately some of those were killed by farm owners or farm managers,” he added.
Cele said there must be accountability and it can’t be business as usual.
“We must all have sleepless nights over these crime numbers. We must exert ourselves in the quest to deliver our mandate as the Saps, which is to protect and serve the people of this country. This is a matter of life and death and complacency won’t be tolerated,” stressed Cele.