Experts react to an increase in sexual assault and murder

Mpiwa Mangwiro-Tsanga, Regional Campaigns and Advocacy Specialist for Sonke Gender Justice and Andrew Faull, Senior Researcher at the Justice, and Violence Prevention at the Institute for Security Studies join us to discuss the crime statistics. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - Nearly 60 murders were committed in South Africa every day in the year to March, figures showed on Friday, marking the latest rise in the country's grimmest benchmark.

In the 12 months to March 2020, police recorded 21,325 murders, an average of 58.4 per day and a 1.4-percent increase over the previous year, Police Minister Bheki Cele said.

WATCH: Cele briefing on crime stats

There was a 1.7-percent rise to 53,293 cases in sexual offences, adding credence to South Africa's reputation as one of the world's most dangerous places for women and girls.

Of those additional 873 counts, 380 cases of rape were reported at either schools, universities, colleges or day care, a trend that Cele said was a cause of deep concern.

Cases of carjacking recorded a steep 13.3 percent rise, but other property crimes fell.

There were no bank robberies during the period under review, burglaries at residential properties fell by 5.8 percent decline and heists of cash in transit heists dropped 10.4 percent.

Some experts commented on the figures, calling for more frequent release of information and better collaboration between civil society, government, and law enforcement.

Andrew Faull, senior researcher at the Justice, and Violence Prevention at the Institute for Security Studies said, "as many of us have been saying for more than a decade, the data that comes out once a year is always, at least six months old so it's very heartening today that the minister announced quarterly data will be released."

Mpiwa Mangwiro-Tsanga, Regional Campaigns and Advocacy Specialist for Sonke Gender Justice said, on the subject of rape and sexual assault, "we are living in a broken society, a society where predominantly women and girls have to live in fear for their lives."

"We are living in a society where personal security is not guaranteed," Mangwiro-Tsanga said.

Source
AFP