South Africa records first drop in murders since Covid outbreak

During the period from April to June, South Africa recorded a reduction in the number of murders, marking the first decline in a quarter since the onset of the Covid pandemic more than three years ago, as announced by the police minister on Friday.

In the second quarter of the year, there were 6,228 recorded cases, reflecting a 3.1 percent decrease compared to the corresponding period in 2022.

“For the first time since COVID-19 reached our shores in 2020, the murder rate of the country has declined in a single quarter,” police minister Bheki Cele told a press conference in Pretoria.

Though crime levels remain “unacceptably high,” the police are actively combating criminal activities, and there are indications of certain reductions in the figures.

The crime statistics, which are unveiled through a live broadcast every quarter, had been consistently increasing in recent months.

“The 3.1 percent decline in the murder rate is no cause for celebration,” Cele warned.

“6,228 is not just a number. It is people whose lives were cut short at the hands of another.”

In the initial three months of the year, previous crime statistics indicated that three individuals were victims of murder every hour.

Firearms, knives, and sharp objects are the preferred weapons in cases of murder.

There was a 2.8 percent decrease in the reported cases of rape to the police.

“The crime figures show that majority of sexual assaults are still taking place between people that are familiar with each other,” Cele said.

“Fighting crime starts in the home.”

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