Report: South African Murders Up, 21,022; Rape Up, 41,583

Kharen Martinez Murcia and Michael W. Chapman | October 3, 2019 | 12:12pm EDT
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( – A report on the crime situation in the Republic of South Africa shows that in most categories crime is up, and this is particularly true for murder, rape and assault.

The report, compiled by the South African Police Service, presents crime data covering the 12 months between April 2018 to March 2019; it also shows the statistical data for previous 12-month periods going back to 2009/2010.

In 2018/19, according to the report, there were 21,022 murders. That’s up from 20,336 murders in 2017/18, which is a 3.4% increase.


The number of attempted murders was also up, from 18,233 in 2017/18 to 18,980 in 2018/19, an increase of 4.1%

In 2018/19, there were 41,583 rapes, up from 40,035 rapes in 2017/18, a 3.9% increase.

Sexual assaults went up dramatically. In 2018/19, there were 7,437 cases, up from 6,786 in 2017/18, an increase of 9.6%.

In cases of murder, the South African police reported that the three top causative factors were arguments/misunderstandings, domestic violence and gang-related issues.

Since 2009/10, the number of murders (per year) in South Africa has increased from 16,767 to 21,022 in 2018/19.

The report also noted that firearms were used the most in murder cases – 7,156 victims – but knives came in a not too distant second place, being used in 4,720 murders (in 2018/19).

Bricks or stones were used in 506 murders and wooden sticks were used in 301 murders.

Crosses are planted on a hillside at the White Cross Monument, each one marking a white farmer who has been killed in a farm murder, in Ysterberg, near Langebaan, South Africa. A long campaign of violence against the country's farmers, who are largely white, has inflamed political and racial tensions nearly a quarter-of-a-century after the fall of apartheid. (Photo: GULSHAN KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

“Our crime stats are not very rosy,” Police Minister Bheki Cele told lawmakers, according to a Sept. 12, 2019 Bloomberg article. “There are a very high number of people who are murdered by people they know. It would be very difficult for police to police such cases.”

According to the South African Police Service report, there were 179,683 crimes against women in the 2018/2019 period studied. 

“At least 137 sexual offences are committed per day in South Africa, mainly against women,” reported the The Guardian.


In response to recent public protests by South African women, President Cyril Ramaphosa said,  “I want the men of our country to take responsibility for the slaughtering of the women of our nation. I want the men of our country to stop raping the women of our country and killing them -- so all this will be addressed, and we are going to take a firm stand.”


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