The skyrocketing increases in violent crime in the Eastern Cape are a real cause for concern. Our province is bleeding as residents are being slaughtered, raped and abused.
The crime statistics for the first quarter of the 2021/22 financial year, between April and June, released by National Police Minister, Bheki Cele, paint a dismal picture of runaway crime.
There were 1020 people murdered in the province in three months, a staggering rise of 59.4% compared to last year. There were 2114 sexual offences cases registered, up 77.6% compared to last year. A total of 2 578 cases of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm were registered, a staggering 85.5% increase.
These statistics show that the brutal criminal onslaught against women and children in the Eastern Cape has shown little to no signs of stopping. Violent crime has become entrenched in our society, and it needs to be rooted out.
More needs to be done to protect the women and vulnerable in our communities and these statistics reflect that need.
It is clear from these statistics that the current interventions by SAPS are not enough, and we are losing the battle against violence in this province. There needs to be accountability and a clear commitment from the MEC of Community Safety, Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe, and SAPS to address this disaster.
The failure to timeously process DNA cases, for example, is clogging up the criminal justice system and denying justice to the thousands of victims and their loved ones.
There needs to be an improvement in catching criminals and in keeping them behind bars. Communities also need to be particularly vigilant and proactive in protecting the vulnerable in our society.
The Democratic Alliance will continue to fight for a safe and secure province, where people can live without fear in their communities and neighbourhoods.