What are you hiding Minister Cele? Crime stats release shelved 12 days before election

Issued by Andrew Whitfield MP – DA Shadow Minister of Police
18 May 2024 in News

The fourth quarter crime statistics scheduled to be released by the South African Police Service (SAPS) at 12h00 today have been shelved by Minister Bheki Cele. This is a blatant attempt to avoid embarrassment before the election on the 29th of May and an unacceptable politicisation of statistics which are in the public interest.

Last year SAPS issued the “Pre-release crime statistics release calendar” for the 2023/24 financial year which provided all of the dates upon which the crime statistics would be released. Every other scheduled release date has been adhered to until now. The credibility of the crime statistics depends in large part on their timely release as scheduled.

In fact the South African Statistical Quality Assessment Framework (SAQAF) states: “The timeliness of statistical information refers to the delay between the release points to which the information pertains, and the date on which the information becomes available. It also considers the frequency and punctuality of release. The timeliness of the information will influence its relevance.”

The fact that they have not been released begs the question: what are you hiding Minister Cele?

Over the last three quarters South Africans have seen violent crime increase as the state fails to protect our citizens.

  • Murders increased by 11,5% between the first and second quarter (from 6 228 to 6 945), and another 11% into the third, to 7 710 murders in the space of only three months.
  • Attempted murders climbed by 15.8% between the first two quarters and then again by 16.1% between the second and third.
  • Almost 3 000 more people were raped between October and December 2023 than between April and June 2023.
  • In the first quarter of this year, 37 491 people were violently assaulted. By the time the third quarter came around, this number increased to 53 513.
  • 4 577 people were kidnapped between October and December of last year, adding to the other 3 854 kidnappings in the first quarter.

There is no doubt that the fourth quarter crime statistics are following this upward trend which is why the Minister is running scared.

South Africans have a right to know whether interventions by SAPS are yielding positive results or not so that they can make informed decisions about their personal safety. SAPS must not allow the Minister to interfere in the scheduled release of the crime statistics, the National Police Commissioner must maintain separation between party and state.

The DA has written to the National Police Commissioner to demand that he act in the public interest and releases the crime statistics without delay. We have also written to the Statistician General to request his intervention in order to secure the credibility of the statistics.

The DA has a plan to rescue South Africans from violent crime and on the 29th of May we have an opportunity to vote for a safer South Africa.