More contact crime, fewer rapes in the Eastern Cape


The crime statistics for the first quarter of 2023/2024 for the Eastern Cape have been released.

Lt. Gen. Nomthetheleli Mene, provincial police commissioner, in her speech emphasized the police’s commitment to fighting crime.

“We recognize the challenges caused by the rise in crime and will implement a comprehensive strategy to tackle it. At the same time, we celebrate the successes in the reduction of crime in certain categories and we will continue to work tirelessly to continue these positive trends. It is through the increase of visible policing and disruptive operations targeting high crime areas that we are starting to see improvements.”

Xolile Nqatha, MEC for transport and community safety, announced the crime statistics in Matatiele on Friday. The crime statistics cover the period 1 April to 30 June 2023.

“I note with concern the increase in contact crimes,” said Nqatha. A total of 15,752 contact crimes were reported during the first quarter of 2022/2023 compared to 15,927 cases in 2023/2024.

“We welcome the 2.6% decrease in rape during this quarter. I express my utmost gratitude to the police who apprehended the criminals accused of committing serious crimes including mass murder and shooting in the province. More work still needs to be done to reduce stubborn crime, but we also congratulate the police for fighting crime in our province.”

A total of 37,708 crimes were reported during the first quarter of 2022/2023 compared to the 37,427 crimes during the first quarter of 2023/2024.

Serious crime decreased by 280 cases (0.7%).

Five of the eight districts reported an increase in serious crime while Amathole, Buffalo City Metro and Sarah Baartman districts showed decreases.

The top five stations identified as hotspots for serious crime are East London (ranked 18th nationally), Mthatha, Humewood, Cambridge and Mount Road.

The following crimes in the contact crime category increased: attempted murder (6.7%), assault with intent to seriously injure (4.2%), assault (5.7%), robbery (3.9%) .

In the crimes of murder, sexual offenses and aggravated robbery, decreases were reported of 5.1%, 4.5% and 4.5% respectively.

Trio crimes showed a decrease of 5.3%, while carjacking and business robbery showed a decrease of 3% and 17.5% respectively. Home robbery increased by 8.3%.

Among sexual offences, there was a decrease in rape (2.6%), sexual assault (23.6%) and sexual contact crime (27.3%). Attempted sexual offenses increased by 28.4%. The top five stations identified as rape hotspots are Mthatha (second nationally), Lusikisiki (eleventh nationally), Ngqeleni (16th nationally), Idutywa and Mbizana.

There was a decrease of 5.1% in murder cases in the province. Only two districts reported an increase in this category of crime, namely Nelson Mandela Bay (17.8%) and Joe Gqabi (26.2%). The top five stations identified as hot spots in murder cases are also on the national list of problematic stations: Mthatha (ninth nationally), Kwazakhele (10th nationally), Kwanobuhle (16th nationally), Motherwell (20th nationally) and New Brighton (in the 29th place nationwide).

A full report of the first quarter crime statistics for the Eastern Cape is available here.

Over the same period, the police’s recovery plan also produced positive results after a series of operations (stop-and-search, roadblocks and vehicle marking points). A total of 65,250 were carried out in the eight districts of the province. The police seized 358 firearms of which 22 were rifles such as AK 47s. At least 13 explosive devices were also confiscated. A total of 46 720 liquor stores were visited of which 105 were closed for various violations of the Eastern Cape Liquor Act or the violation of municipal legislation. More than 198,000 liters of alcohol were confiscated. A total of 15,167 suspects were arrested for various crimes during the same period.