Arguments a 'prominent contributor' to murder stats

An analysis of sample murder cases in different provinces show that a significant proportion of the killings followed arguments or social interactions gone awry.

Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Murders have increased in four of the nine provinces, with women and children listed as victims in just over 18% of cases.

This was revealed in the 2016/2017 national crime statistics released Parliament on Tuesday.

It shows that murders have gone up by 1.8% nationally.

An analysis of sample murder cases in different provinces show that a significant proportion of the killings followed arguments or social interactions gone awry.

Why do people kill? The police’s annual crime statistics report attempts to answer this question by analysing the current data.

The report finds many murders are the result of arguments between two or more people, listed as a “prominent contributor” to the murder statistics.

Other factors that contribute, include alcohol and drug abuse, a trend towards increasingly violent robberies, and gang affiliation.

That's a particular problem in the Western Cape where there's some kind of gang link in 19% of murders in the province.

The social ills that contribute to murder are underlined by the times when most killings occur: in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, it’s over the weekends.

The data also reveals that many people are killed outside, with 30% of KwaZulu-Natal's reported murders and 36% of Gauteng’s happening on the streets.