The release of the Second Quarter crime statistics for KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) show that whether our province’s people are at home, at work – or even at learning or religious institutions – they are not safe.
According to the figures – for the period July to September 2023 – the Umlazi and Inanda SAPS stations are ranked second and third respectively in the country in terms of murder. This while 43% of murders in KZN were committed with the use of a firearm and while there was also a 33% increase in the number of SAPS officers murdered.
Inanda and Umlazi SAPS also remain in the top three stations in the country in terms of rape, with the province recording a 4% increase in this horrific crime. Of particular concern is that almost half of all rapes were committed by perpetrators known to victims.
Equally alarming is the finding that 23 people were raped at educational institutions in KZN during the three-month period, which also experienced a staggering 445 break-ins. Our religious premises are also under fire, with 76 break-ins recorded during the 90 days.
These statistics reflect the dire position that KZN’s people find themselves in after almost 30 years of ANC rule. They are not safe and many are in despair. This is compounded by a general mistrust when of the SAPS’ ability to help them in times of crisis.
As we head towards the 2024 elections, political killings are also on the rise while KZN remains notorious for its hitmen for hire. Yet, there are no solutions from government to address this blatant criminality, particularly in terms of intelligence gathering and other proactive measures.
This while KZN’s Department of Community Safety and Liaison, under MEC Sipho Hlomuka, continues to throw money at anti-crime programmes, without proper planning and without the basics being in place.
Until this Taliban faction ANC-run provincial government deals with the shortage of under-trained and under-resourced law enforcement officers, the problems will not go away. And until Police Minister, Bheki Cele – with his broken promises – hangs up his hat and leaves, nothing will change.
The people of our province deserve better. The 2024 elections will present them with the opportunity to rescue our province and vote for a government that takes crime seriously.