Eastern Cape murders on worrying upward trend

Issued by Bobby Stevenson, MPL
Shadow MEC for Community Safety

There is an alarming upward trend in murders in the Eastern Cape, and all indications are that we will exceed pre-Covid levels.

In the last quarter, the rate increased by 8.3% for the period from October to December 2021.

This worrying trend shows that there is a declining respect for human life, with people engaging in senseless and brutal crimes. Criminals clearly no longer fear being caught.

Combined over the first three quarters of the 2021 /22 financial year, there have been 3 425 murders in the province, with Police Minister Beki Cele revealing that 1 304 murders were recorded in the province in the third quarter.

This is an average of nearly 13 people a day murdered in our province! The Eastern Cape has the highest ratio of murders in the country, at 18.7 per 100 000.

The last pre-Covid murder toll, in 2019, stood at 3 965 for the period in review, which is an average of just under 11 people a day.

Murder hotspots include Mthatha, Lusikisiki, Kwazakhele, New Brighton and Motherwell.

Also worrying is the high levels of rape that persists in the Eastern Cape, with Lusikisiki recording the highest number of reported rape cases in the country for the three months under review.

The number of carjackings in the province has skyrocketed in the third quarter, up a staggering 32,5%, from 277 to 367.

Non-residential robberies have also increased by 8.8%, with East London having the second-highest number of reported cases in the country!

We need to rebuild law and order as one of the key pillars of society, and this means a new form of partnership policing. We need a collective effort from SAPS, the community, businesses, security companies and the municipalities to establish more effective community police forums that can take back control of our streets.

I take my hat off to those members of SAPS who go the extra mile, doing their best with limited resources to make a difference in the lives of our communities.

What is needed is the political will to ensure that proper resources are provided, along with boots on the ground.

The Democratic Alliance will continue to fight for a safe and secure province, where people can live without fear in their communities and neighbourhoods.