Home News South Africa murder rate ‘lowest since Apartheid’: police

South Africa murder rate ‘lowest since Apartheid’: police

Published on 08/09/2011

The number of murders in South Africa fell to the lowest level since the end of apartheid, with 15,940 people killed last year, down 6.5 percent from the year before, the police minister said.

“The continued reduction in murder indicates that government is succeeding in its efforts,” Nathi Mthethwa told a news conference.

In the 1995-1996 fiscal year, the first full year of statistics following landmark multi-racial elections in 1994, South Africa suffered 26,877 murders.

The latest crime statistics report covers the year ending in March and included the period around the 2010 football World Cup, when South Africa dramatically stepped up its policing efforts.

Contact crimes — a category that includes murder, assault and sexual offenses — fell by 6.9 percent, he added.

“While we are happy that this category generally has declined over the last two years, we remain concerned about the number of rapes that occur in the country,” Mthethwa said.

Reported rape cases increased from 55,097 to 56,272, and the minister admitted that rape is widely under-reported.

“We cannot seriously say we are winning the war against rape. We have however taken various steps in addressing this scourge,” he said.