Eastern Cape crime spiralling out of control

Issued by Bobby Stevenson, MPL
Shadow MEC for Community Safety

The Eastern Cape SAPS is losing control of the spiralling violent crime in the province, with the highest murder rate per capita in the country at 15.7 murders per 100 000 people. The province also has the highest rape rate per capita with 27.6 rapes per 100 000 people.

This carnage that is sweeping through our society is fuelling severe anxiety as more and more people are terrified by brutal criminals who don’t fear being caught. Being held hostage to fear is destroying the social fabric of our society and our personal freedoms.

The latest crime statistics for the fourth quarter of the 21/22 financial year, released this morning, have shown skyrocketing cases in all eight contact crime categories in the province.

These stats show that SAPS is losing the battle against crime and a serious rethink in our approach to dealing with crime has to take place.

We need a collective effort from SAPS, the community, businesses, security companies and municipalities to establish more effective strategies to take back control of our streets.

The stats, which look at crimes committed between January and March 2022, show 1045 people were murdered, an increase of 11.7% compared to the same period last year. The province had six stations in the top 30 for murder, namely Mthatha, Kwazakele, Lusikisiki, Willowvale, New Brighton and Libode.

There were also a disturbingly high 2230 sexual offence cases reported, up 10.2%, with Lusikisiki once again having the highest reported cases in the country.

There were 532 attempted murder cases, up 5.3%, and 5852 assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, up 8.4%.

Common assault showed a shocking increase of 21%, with 3715 cases reported, common robbery was up by 11.4%, with 706 cases, while robbery with aggravating circumstances was up 2.3%, with 2789 cases reported.

Also concerning is the ongoing increase in carjackings, up 26.5%, with 325 cases reported over the three-month period, and robberies at non-residential premises, up 4.2%, with 494 cases reported.
Theft of motor vehicles is also up 30.6%, with 482 cased reported.

Some good news is that stock theft has shown a downward trend, but the Eastern Cape is still one of the epicentres of this crime wave, with five stations in the top ten stations dealing with stock theft in the country.

Until the political leadership of this province admit that we are in crisis and proactively addresses the shortfalls in resources and boots on the ground, more innocent lives will continue to be forever maimed by rampant, runaway violent crime in this province.

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