'Crime stats not a political tool'

Deputy Police Minister Maggie Sotyu made the comments during her address to the NCOP.

Police Minister Nathi Mtethwa and newly appointed National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Deputy Police Minister Maggie Sotyu on Thursday said crime statistics should not be used as a political tool.

Addressing the National Council of Provinces on Thursday, she assured Members of Parliament (MPs) that the annual crime figures released last month are credible.

Sotyu added that the issue should never be politicised.

"Overemphasising the importance of crime statistics inevitably leads to politicising the interpretation of this data, resulting in the narrow questioning of statistics."

Meanwhile, the two police officers shot and killed while in the line of duty last week will be honoured at a vigil on Friday evening.

Residents will be lighting candles and planting two olive trees to remember Phindiwe Nikani and Mandisi Nduku, who were gunned down in Imizamo Yethu near Hout Bay.

Resident and event organiser Trish Meyer said they want to acknowledge their hard work.

A Namibian national was arrested in connection with the double murder.

The Imizamo Yethu incident was the second in a series of police shootings in Cape Town this week.

In first incident, a police officer was shot and killed while issuing a fine to a taxi driver in Khayelitsha.

Mpumelelo Xakekile (50) died on his wife's birthday.

The most recent incident took place in Belhar on Tuesday evening, where an officer was shot in the stomach while searching a suspect.

The shooting brings the total number of officers shot in Cape Town to four in less than a week.

Law enforcement officials said the killings will not deter them from rooting out lawlessness in the Mother City.

Friends and relatives of Xakekile paid tribute to him during a memorial service in Khayelitsha on Tuesday.

An 18-year-old has been arrested for the crime.

Meanwhile, Gauteng has seen the most police officers killed in the line of duty.

In total, 81 South African Police Service (Saps) members have been murdered across South Africa during this financial year.

This is down from the previous year when 93 officers were gunned down.

The latest stats on police killings were revealed in Parliament on Thursday.

Gauteng accounts for over 25 percent of cop killings.

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega said, "Nothing of what is taking place will deter us from doing what we are supposed to be doing. We remain committed."