#CrimeStats: SAPS top brass defend latest figures

Nathi Nhleko insists crime is under control despite figures showing increased levels of serious crime.

Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Police Minister Nathi Nhleko is insisting that crime is under control despite the latest figures showing increased levels of serious crimes.

Nhleko and National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega have been briefing Parliament's Police Oversight Committee on crime statistics for the period between April last year and the end of March this year.

The police minister has denied crime is not under control, and Phiyega insists the South African Police Service (SAPS) has a good story to tell.

Nhleko is responding to questions by Members of Parliament.

He says, "Your assertion that crime is not under control… that's just simply a statement. Yet the statistics we put before you say over the 10-year period and over the five-year period there has been a decrease."

The figures released today tell a troubling story, however, 17,805 people were murdered, a 4.6 percent increase on the previous financial year.

That's 49 lives lost each day, about two every hour.

Attempted murder is up 3.2 percent and aggravated robbery increased by 8.5 percent.

Car hijackings went up by 14.2 percent and truck hijackings by nearly 30 percent.


The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union( Popcru) says the rise in the murder rate is not a reflection on the police but rather indicative of South Africa's poor socio-economic situation.

Popcru's Richard Mamabolo says this is not the police's fault.

"Crime is not solely the responsibility of police management, that is the wrong basis to start the argument. For crime to be confronted, communities need to play a bigger role."

He adds that the climbing murder rate is not the result of poor police leadership.

WATCH: Crime stats alarm Members of Parliament.


Meanwhile, crime analysts say police management have a lot to explain for the increases in murder and other violent crimes, suggesting poor leadership and failed strategies are to blame.

The Institute for Security Studies Gareth Newham says the crimes which increased can be policed.

"[This] suggests that police aren't getting the improvement we need in Crime Intelligence or they are not implementing the correct strategies for this kind of crime."

The Institute for Race Relations' Frans Cronje says the increased crime rate is not simply due to a social problem.

"By no stretch of the imagination should that argument be used to cover for weak detective services, misapplication of resources and cadre deployment."