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Speaking notes delivered by Police Minister General Bheki Cele (MP) at the release of the quarter four crime statistics 2020/2021 in Pretoria, Gauteng on Friday 14 May 2021

Deputy Minister of Police, Hon Cassel Mathale;
National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Kehla Sitole;
Deputy National Commissioners;
Provincial Commissioners and Divisional Commissioners;
The Secretary Police, Mr Alvin Rapea;
Senior Officers;
Heads of Entities;
All Heads of Department;
Members of the Media

Good Afternoon to you all

Today I wish to start my address by highlighting a crisis that is unfolding and has the potential to threaten the country’s peace and stability.

The death of South African Police Service members at the hands of callous, heartless and brazen criminals.

In the first three months of this year, 24 police were killed.

Eleven of them were killed on duty while preventing, combating or solving a crime.

Some were attacked or ambushed while conducting patrols and their official firearms stolen.

The National Crime Statistics we are releasing today reflect crimes reported to the SAPS from the 1st of January to the end of March 2021.

These decreases in many of the crime catagories would not have been achieved without the dedication, determination and hard work of the men and women in blue.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

So it cannot be normal that police officers who each day, go out there to protect and to serve, are killed and the public remains unshaken.

There is no public outrage, no outcry from activists and NGOs and no one is demanding justice for them.

So, if we are to win this fight against crime, such criminal acts against police cant be ignored but be addressed at community level.


From these figures of the last quarter of 2021, it is becoming increasingly clear that addressing some of the policing shortcomings is paying off.

We have made gains in categories of crime that were previously very stubborn.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I believe the call to put the shoulder to the wheel was heeded by many of our officers in blue.

This is evidenced by an overall decline of 8.5% in Contact Crimes such as Assault GBH, Sexual Offences, Common Assault and Robbery and Robbery with aggravating circumstances.

The only two crimes in this category that recorded an increase, are Murder and Attempted murder, recording an 8,4 and 8.7% increase respectively.


4 976 people were killed in the first three months of 2021, this is 387 more people killed compared to the corresponding period in the previous financial year.

The Mpumalanga province recorded the same number of murders as in the corresponding period in the previous financial year. The Mpumalanga province is joined by Limpopo, Free State and Northern Cape in recording decreases in their murder cases.

However it is concerning that the Eastern Cape and the Kwa- Zulu Natal provinces recorded double digit increases, standing at 21,5% and 16.9% respectively.

Unfortunately, 1327 people died in the places of residence of either the victim or the perpatrator, including the homes of family friends and neighbours. In some instances these people could have had some kind of domestic relationship.

From a sample of 4 911 murders,

A total of 2 378 people were killed in public places like a streets, open field, recreational parks, beaches and abandoned buildings.


The top four causative factors of these murders still remain arguments, robberies, both residential and non-residential and street robberies, mob justice and gang-related incidents.


Members of the media,

The sexual violence meted against women in this country is simply shameful. Seemingly men and children are not spared.

While there has been a decline in Sexual offences cases, 9 518 people were raped between January and March.

This is an decrease of 387 cases, amounting to an almost 4% decrease compared to the previous reporting period.

A sample of 6 893 of the rape incidents revealed that 4 130 of such incidents took place at the home of the victim or the home of the alleged rapist.

The Eastern Cape’s Lusikisiki police station recorded the highest incidents of rape, overtaking the Inanda station, which has sadly held the number one position for some years.


Members of the Media,

Gender Based Violence remains a priority crime for us in the SAPS.

The fight against this menace in the Eastern Cape Province was dealt a heavy blow last week.

Four officers on their way back from conducting crime prevention duties and GBV awareness campaigns were killed in a head-on collision just outside Engcobo.

Constables Lungelo Nogqala, Frank Lila, Buqaqawuli Nyembezi and Secretary Ntombikayise Landu were shining examples of BATHO PELE principles in the police service.

Let us honour these fallen members by eradicating secondary discrimination of victims of GBV and vow to protect, every women and children at their time of need.

When it comes to GBV, there is no room for complacency. Those ‘Sleeping on the job’ – must get their act together or ship out.

Station commanders I urge you to act decisively against sub-standard service at your stations.


Our figures in Sexual Offences are beginning to show that we are  stabilising in this area.

However, this does not mean we should drop our guards.

We remain encouraged that rapists can be brought to book through the availability and access to “rape kits” at all police stations.

Moreover, a DNA recovery plan is in place to progressively clear the DNA backlogs experienced at SAPS Forensic Science laboratories.

The nation is assured that we are working around the clock to clear the backlog and GBV cases are bieng prioritised.

The delays have been severe we admit, but 42% of dockets for crimes committed against women and children that had been outstanding for over a year, have now been finalized.

Members of the Media

The SAPS is also hiring more forensic analysts to work through the backlog in our labs.

There has been a commitment to tighten the SAPS contract management system and ensure contracts are renewed on time.

To ensure in future we avoid a repeat of these bottlenecks, an early warning system to detect any anomalies is being developed.

Most importantly, eliminating corrupt practices that once plagued the Forensic Divison of the SAPS is a non-negotiable.


On Farm Attacks, in the first three months of 2021, 11 people were killed in 10 incidents of murder, which occurred in farms and small-holdings.

Four of those murdered were farm dwellers, 4 were farmers or farm owners; 2 of the victims were farm employees while one was a night guard at a farm workshop.


In this reporting period, there has been some decline in property and livestock crimes.

All Property Related Crimes decreased by 20.8%. Stock theft also took a dive, recording an 11.1% decline.

Sheep, poultry followed by cattle are the top three livestock stolen.

Burglary at residential and non-residential premises declined drastically by double digits.

Theft of vehicles and motorcycles and theft out of motor vehicles also recorded double digit declines.

We owe this to a proactive and preventative policing strategy which is realized through amongst other things, increased police visibility.



Ladies and Gentlemen,

The prevalence of violence in our communities is growing to unacceptable proportions.

While all cases of assault have decreased by over 9%

There were still over 75 thousand cases of common assault and assault GBH opened with the police between January and March this year.

In 2855 incidents of Assault GBH it was confirmed that alcohol was consumed either by the victim or the perpetrator or both.

2047 incidents of Assault GBH took place at either a bar, a night club, a tavern or a shebeen.

This doesn’t exclude alcohol being present in parks, beaches and other places of entertainment.

The Gauteng and Western Cape provinces recorded the highest assault cases.

16 528 incidents of assaults both common and grievous bodily harm were domestic related, which means the victim and perpetrator knew each other.


Alcohol abuse is the ‘albatross around ones neck’ for us in the SAPS and certainly for the communities we serve.

Again, communities can no longer afford to stand aside and look, they have to be part of the crime solution, by saying NO to alcohol abuse.

Some communities have more tarvens as compared to any other establishement, in their area of residence, including churches and schools combined.

You simply cannot expect those communities to have social stability, due to the over supply of liqour.

It is on this score that we call upon the alcohol Industry to also be part of the solution and offer social responsibilty programmes in this regard.


Aggravated robberies such as Carjacking increased by almost 5%

Carjacking took place mostly in formal and non-formal residence in the country’s townships followed by suburbs in urban areas.

Cars of choice for criminals are sedans and hatchbacks followed by panel vans and bakkies.

There were 372 more residential robberies reported in the current reporting period compared to the corresponding period in the previous financial year.

2.8% more robberies at non-residential places such as businesses, churches and schools took place during this reporting period.

Police must step up their efforts in clamping down on truck high-jackings which recorded a double-digit percent increase.

354 trucks or courier vans were targeted for their cargo, which is usually food, appliances and other priced goods.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the last National Crime Statistics release, I didn’t mince my words when I called on police to urgently get their act together in addressing the high incidents of Cash In Transit heists.

While police officers still have their hands full when it comes to preventing this crime,

They certainly have started to change their responses against these thugs who risk the lives of community members for their selfish gains.

I recently paid a hospital visit to Sergeant Clint Skippers, a Cape Town police officer who was shot and injured during a foiled CIT in Stellenbosch. It is through quick thinking and bravery of officers like Sergeant Skippers and his team that resulted in criminals being arrested and left empty handed. In the same scene, high callibre firearms and high powered vehicles were confiscated.

In the first three months of this year, Cash-in-Transit heists decreased by 10.6%.


In conclusion,

Yes, we are making strides in many provinces that are reporting declines in various crime categories, including murder.

And we are equally aware that there are some provinces regressing on the gains they previously made in the creation of safer communities.

It is encouraging to see the emergence of some stability but also there are areas that we must still address through shifting of resources.

There were less assaults, sexual crimes, theft and burglaries in the first three months of this year compared to the previous period of reporting.

We will continue to work hard to maintain that trend.

As part of the SAPS turn-around plan, operational oversight interventions in the Western Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal have already started. Hundreds of additional forces have been deployed from national to these provinces, to assist in crime fighting initiatives.

Our focus will also turn to the Free State and Mpumalanga for implementation of similar interventions.

Commissioner, more police boots and functional police patrol vehicles will ALWAYS work in our favour.

Improving and cultivating the partnership between the police and communities is more important now than ever. To all police officers of this country, if we can maintain and improve these latest crime figures, we WILL turn tide against crime.

We cannot afford to give criminals terrorizing communities, any room to breathe.

It is clear they will stop at nothing to get their way, including brazenly attacking you as you do your job.

As if that isn’t enough, you are also faced with the enemy of COVID-19 that has claimed the lives of 618 police.

Let this not deter you maphoyisa,

Stay focused and continue to render a selfless service to the nation. There is room for improvement and don’t drop your guard now.

You remain assets to us in the SAPS and to the rest of South Africa.

With those words, let me hand over to Major General Thulare Sekhukhune who will give a Presentation which will reflect an overview of the 2020/2021 Quarter three crime statistics.

I Thank you.

All Contact Crimes decreased by 8.5%

Crime Category 




Sexual Offences 

- 3.9%

Attempted Murder 


Assault to do grievous bodily harm

- 9.3%

Common Assault

- 9.3%

Common Robbery 

- 22.1%

Robbery with aggravating circumstances

- 7.9%


All Sexual Offences decreased by 3.9%

Crime Category 



- 3.9%

Sexual Assault 

- 0.2%

Attempted Sexual Offences

- 12.9%

Contact Sexual Offences 

 -12.8 %


Crime Category




Robbery at Residential Premises


Robbery at Non-Residential Premises


Robbery of Cash-In-Transit


Bank Robbery 

 one case higher

Truck hijacking 



Contact-Related Crimes decreased by 5.1%

Crime Categories



- 14.2%

Malicious damage to property

 - 4.8%

All Property-Related Crimes decreased 20.8%

Crime Categories


Burglary at non-residential premises

- 17.2%

Burglary at residential premises

- 20.5%

Theft of motor vehicle and motor cycle

- 17.2%

Theft out or from motor vehicle

- 27.7%

Stock Theft

- 11.1%