Murder stats: six out of 10 worst murder areas in Cape Town – and Nyanga remains murder capital

SOUTH AFRICA - Cape Town - 12 June 2019 - 6 Police officers were shot and wounded in Sweet Home Farm Nyanga.This was when the police were doing a follow up and trying to apprehend a suspect who is allegedly involved in a shooting that took place opposite the Samora Machel police station. Photograph: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

This was heard during Police Minister Bheki Cele’s address to parliament’s portfolio committee on police.

Nyanga remains the murder capital of South Africa, even though there has been a 6.2% decrease in the number of cases in 2018/19, according to the latest South African police crime statistics.

Five other police stations in Cape Town are also among those where the most murders were reported, with Delft and Khayelitsha taking second and third places respectively.

The others are Philippi East (where there was a spate of killings recently), Harare, and Gugulethu.

The police station in Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal is in fourth place, Umlazi is in seventh place and Plessislaer in Pietermaritzburg is in 10th place. Plessislaer recorded almost 60% more cases than the previous year.

Addressing parliament’s portfolio committee on police, Police Minister Bheki Cele registered his concern about the overall 3.4% increase in murder cases – a total of 21,022.

The committee heard that 60% of murders happened over weekends, with drug and alcohol intake playing a role.

Murders were largely the result of arguments/misunderstandings, gang-related activities and domestic violence.

At a media briefing, Cele was asked what made the murder rate so high in the Western Cape, specifically on the Cape Flats.

He said there wasn’t just an interplay between crime and policing and law enforcement agencies, but that a “big portion was played by environmental design”.

Cele said that when former police minister Fikile Mbalula visited Marikana informal settlement in Cape Town, he found that lighting was a big issue and asked that more high masts be installed.

It was decided that the local government and province would install eight of these lights.

“You can’t see beyond your hand,” he said, referring to lighting in informal settlements, such as Marikana, Khayelitsha Site C, and Nyanga.

He said when a police officer was killed in Nyanga, they found there was a camera at the scene but “it had not been working for eight years”.

The 10 police stations where most murders were reported, saw an increase in the number of reported cases, except for Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. They are:

  • Inanda in KZN (21.6% increase),
  • Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape (46.6% increase),
  • Thohoyandou in Limpopo (19.1% increase),
  • Umlazi in KZN (4% increase),
  • Delft and Nyanga in the Western Cape (up 14.3% and 3.3% respectively),
  • Mthatha in the Eastern Cape (8.1% decrease),
  • Orange Farm in Gauteng (15.9% increase),
  • Empangeni in KZN (8.6% increase), and
  • Ivory Park in Gauteng (10.7% increase).

Of the rapes reported to police across the country, most were reported by women, followed by men aged 20-29 and men aged 30-39.

Cele said they were improving the physical conditions of police stations and care centres which have overnight facilities for rape victims.

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