Eastern Cape fourth quarter crime statistics

The Minister of Transport and Community Safety in the Eastern Cape, Xolile Nqatha and Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Nomthetheleli Mene in Alice on the day of the release of Eastern Cape crime statistics for the fourth quarter. PICTURE: SAPS

On Friday, June 9, 2023, at the Raymond Mhlaba Local Municipality Chambers in Alice, the Eastern Cape’s MEC for Transport and Community Safety, Xolile Nqatha, officially released the province’s fourth quarter crime statistics.

The SAPS carried out six significant operations in the past quarter: Vhuthu Hawe, Operation Sikhona, Bilateral/Trilateral Cross Border, High Density, Provincial Interventions, and Majola Intervention. All of these operations saw a number of notable successes, and some are still dismantling the backbones of criminal groups and operatives.

There was an overall decrease in all types of sexual offenses, with sexual assault cases showing a remarkable decline of 19.9% and rape cases indicating a decline of 12.7%. However, there is cause for concern in the OR Tambo District, where two police stations—Lusikisiki, which is ranked third nationally, and Mthatha, which is ranked fifth—are among the top 30 police stations in the country. The top two spots in the province ranking are now held by the two stations.

The Family Violence, Child Protection, and Sexual Offences unit officers did, however, manage to make at least 940 rape suspect arrests within the same time period. A total of 403 firearms were seized, 6 of which were automatic rifles with a variety of ammunition. The confiscation of illegal firearms saw a positive increase of 57.7%. Additionally, drug-related offences saw a positive rise of 5.8%.

Three police stations in the OR Tambo District—Qumbu, Mthatha, and Bityi—are among the top 30 police stations in the country for stock theft cases. The top three murder-prone stations in the province, New Brighton, Bethelsdorp, and KwaZakhele, are located in the Nelson Mandela District. Seven police stations from the Eastern Cape are listed among the top 30 police stations in this category.

The Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Nomthetheleli Mene commented on the crime statistics. “In as much as some of the crimes may seem to be puncturing our hopes in terms of reflections in figures, the reality on the ground is that our detectives and intelligence have turned a new page. In recent weeks we have recovered a significant number of firearms in various districts of the Eastern Cape.

“MEC, there is a need for us and pertinent stakeholders to redouble our efforts and intensify on programmes that will see us winning the fight against family feuds and hit murders which are motivated by the desire to benefit from insurance companies,” said Mene.

MEC Nqatha said that their research has shown that crime has drastically dropped in areas where there are community policing forums. “In this financial year, the Department of Community Safety will continue to establish more Community Policing Forums. The most problematic districts in the Eastern Cape are Nelson Mandela Bay, Buffalo City and OR Tambo districts. These districts contribute the most to the following crimes in the Eastern Cape, murder, attempted murder, assault, robbery, and sexual offences,” he said.