Violent crime in South Africa reached a new high in 2015 as the murder rate rose to an all time high for the sixth straight year in a row. The murder rate increased for the third straight year in a row as 17,805 South Africans were murdered last year, leading to approximately 49 murders per day, an increase of over 4.6 percent over last year.
As reported in the Washington Post, although the murder rate in South Africa increased last year, the number of sexual assaults decreased by 5.4 percent. The number of rapes reported last year were approximately 50,000.
Democratic Alliance member Diane Kohler Barnard said in a statement that it is believed that the reason the number of rapes reported is down is that victims do not trust the police. Reports of rape dropped approximately 21 percent as reported by Statistics South Africa, a government agency that did a national survey on the issue of crime. Barnard went on to say that South Africa is like a country at war.
“Our South African Police Service remains politically and operationally rudderless. Forty-nine South Africans are murdered in this country each and every day. This number of deaths is what one would expect from a country at war.”
Robberies, the crime of repeat offenders, pointed to police ineffectiveness according to Gareth Newman, a researcher for the Institute of Security Studies.
“With a budget of around 80 billion rand (about $5.7 billion), some of the best technology in the world, and more than 194,000 personnel, the SAPS (the South African Police Service) should be better able to reduce crimes such as robbery.”
As previously reported in the Inquisitr, there were 44 farm murders so far this year and 157 farm attacks. Civil rights group Afriforum called on the police minister to prioritize the fight to stop farm murders in South Africa as farming has become one of the most dangerous occupations in the world.
Although police say that the farm attacks aren’t related to race, the attacks against farmers point to a racial component, as most of the farmers who have been murdered were white. One of the latest farmers murdered in the attacks was murdered for $21.64 when he was attacked by seven intruders on his farm.
MoneyWeb reported that the reason for the crime in South Africa is alcoholism and drug abuse as the result of poverty. The number of homicides reported were 782 according the South African Police Service as stated in their annual report on crime statistics. Approximately 33 per 100,000 South Africans were murdered compared to 4.5 per 100,000 in the United States.
Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko, speaking to lawmakers in Cape Town, said that crime is a social problem.
“The causal link between the commission of crime and drug and alcohol abuse continues to be a standing feature in driving up levels of crime.”
Chandre Gould, a senior research fellow at the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies said there had been no effort to reduce the number of violent crimes committed.
“There are no clear indications that we are making progress in reducing serious violent crime. We still lack a detailed and clear crime-prevention strategy that cuts across all government departments and draws on hard evidence to ascertain what works to prevent violence.”
While there were 1,537 attacks against police pending review, this number increased from 1,172 the previous year. Eighty-six police officers have died in the line of duty.
Other statistics reported in the South Africa crime report included an increase in the number of violent protests against socioeconomic equality, an increase in firearms and the number of undocumented migrants who came to South Africa. Police reported that the number of protests is up to 2,289 from the previous year, where 1,907 protests were reported.
[Photo Credit Wikimedia Commons]