Bheki Cele’s violent reign as Minister continues

Issued by Andrew Whitfield MP – DA Shadow Minister of Police
17 Feb 2023 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Andrew Whitfield MP.

Not since the dawn of democracy in 1994, has South Africa ever been in such a violent, murderous and bloody war against crime as we are today. It is a war which is being completely and utterly lost due to a vacuum in crime intelligence, poorly trained police officers and under-resourced police stations across the country.

The latest release of the crime statistics for the third quarter of 2022/23, for the period October to December 2022, reveals the unabated slaughter of South Africa’s citizens. For the first time in South Africa’s history, murders increased above 80 murders and rapes above 135 rapes every single day.

In what other country in the world would a Police Minister still keep his job under such circumstances?

Some of the worst statistics revealed include:

  • 7 555 murders (82.1 per day) (increased from 74 per day)
  • 15 545 sexual assaults (169 per day) (increased from 154 per day)
  • 50 582 Assault with G.B.H. (550 per day) (increased from 505 per day)
  • 37 829 violent robberies (411.2 per day) (increased from 371 per day)

With the previous release of the crime statistics, Bheki Cele said that it was “not a good time to be a woman” in South Africa. Today, it is even worse. In Q3 of 2022, Gender Based Violence and Femicide skyrocketed:

  • 1101 murders (12 every single day and an increase of 199 from the last year Q3)
  • 1636 attempted murders (17.8 per day and an increase of 396 from last year)
  • 17 271 assaults (187.7 per day and an increase of 1579 from last year)

A horrific escalation in mass shootings further exposes the complete failure of crime intelligence to prevent the circulation of illegal firearms and to anticipate these terrifying incidents. In quarter 2 between July and September 2022 578 murders in 250 cases of mass shootings were reported and in the 92 days of quarter 3, 294 mass shootings took place, killing 665 people.

These crime statistics illustrate the complete failure of the management of the South African Police Service to strengthen crime intelligence and improve visible policing to prevent crime. In Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) in 2019, he promised to halve violent crimes within 10 years but today it continues to rise. His silence in his reply to the SONA debate this week is as good as an admission of defeat in the war against crime.

As we fast approach the halfway mark to yet another broken promise, violent crime is on its way to being double, not half, within the 10 years.

It is time for Ramaphosa to drop Cele, appoint a capable Minister and devolve policing powers to capable provincial and local governments to get the job done.