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While the South African Police Service (SAPS) recorded significant declines in contact crimes, murder and attempted murder increased in this category, Police Minister Bheki Cele has revealed.  

The Minister revealed this while releasing Crime Statistics for the fourth quarter (January to March) of the 2020/21 financial year.

Contact crimes include assault GBH, sexual offences, common assault, robbery, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder and attempted murder.

During this term, contact crime decreased by 8.5%. With the exception of murder and attempted murder, all sub-sections noted decreases. Murder recorded an 8.4% while attempted murder rose by 8.7%.

During this period, Cele said 4 976 people were killed.

“This is 387 more people killed compared to the corresponding period in the previous financial year.

Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Free State and Northern Cape in the first three months of 2021 all recorded decreases in murder cases.

The Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal recorded double digit increases, standing at 21.5% and 16.9%, respectively.

“Unfortunately,1 327people died in the places of residence of either the victim or the perpetrator, including the homes of family friends and neighbours. In some instances these people could have had some kind of domestic relationship,” said the Minister.

From a sample of 4 911 murders, a total of 2 378people were killed in public places like a street, open field, recreational park, beaches and abandoned buildings.

Cele said the top four causative factors of these murders were arguments, robberies, both residential and non-residential and street robberies, mob justice and gang-related incidents.


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