Ricochet News

2017/2018 Crime stats: Mthatha and Bethelsdorp the murder capitals of the Eastern Cape

Sep 11, 2018
2017/2018 Crime stats: Mthatha and Bethelsdorp the murder capitals of the Eastern Cape

The 2017/2018 crime statistics released on Tuesday are cold comfort to residents of the Eastern Cape, who daily live in fear of the criminal element that stalks our communities, and highlights the dire need for a complete overhaul of the SAPS, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape said.

"The crime statistics released show that the bloody wave of violent crime continues to sweep through the Eastern Cape," described Bobby Stevenson (MPL), Leader of the DA in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature and the party's Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Safety.

"Murder has risen by a staggering 5.2% (up from 3,628 to 3,815), meaning on average more than 10 people are being murdered each day in the province.

"Also damning is that the Eastern Cape has the second highest recorded murders for women and children, after Kwazulu Natal, with 550 women and 180 children murdered."  

Stevenson added that other violent crimes that strike fear into the heart of people are all on the increase, including attempted murders (up 5.8%) sexual assault (up 0.5%) robbery at residential premises (up 0.6%), robbery at non-residential (up 1.1%) and car hijackings (up 4.6%).

"The Eastern Cape has five of the top 30 stations in terms of murder, with Mthatha 9th on the list, with an increase of 26% (from 127 to 160); Bethelsdorp at 13th, up 8.5% (from 117 to 127), Kwazakhele at 17th spot up 1% (103 to 104) Lusikisiki at 22nd down 15.7% (from 115 to 97) and Ngqeleni at 28th, up 26.8% (from 71 to 90).

"Gelvandale takes top spot for attempted murders across all stations nationally, with a 17.8% increase in cases (up from 225 to 265) while Bethelsdorp is 4th, with a staggering increase of 51.1% (up from 133 to 201)," he described.

"This reflects the ongoing gang violence and the dire need for the new police station in the Bethelsdorp area to be built as a matter of urgency.

"While we welcome the fact that burglary stats are down (2.6% for residential and 4% for non-residential) for the province, I am sceptical that this is a true reflection, as I feel residents have simply given up reporting cases to the police."

Stevenson said that it is clear that SAPS is under-resourced, under-trained, under-equipped and under-staffed, which is why the battle to keep the people of the Eastern Cape safe, is being lost.

"The SAPS need to get their priorities right, and shouldn’t be spending over R2.8 billion, or R9.1 million per VIP compared to R1,500 spent to protect the average citizen of South Africa," he added.

"Funds spent to protect politicians could be better used to buy vehicles that can be used for patrolling, and increasing manpower so that we have more boots on the ground where they are most needed.

Access the full 2017/2018 Crime stats here.