Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, on Tuesday accused the national government of ignoring the increasing murder numbers in the province.
The Western Cape province recorded 331 murders in May this year, compared to 304 in May last year.
“That is more than 10 murders per day in the province, lives cut short by senseless violence. The statistics are sourced from the forensic services unit in the Western Cape department of health and not from the official crime statistics as these are only released by [SA Police Service] SAPS once a year,” Winde said.
He revealed that, of the 331 murders in May, 171 were shot, and 116 killed by stabbing with a sharp object. A total of 271 of the murders were recorded in the metro, with the remaining 60 in the province’s rural areas.
By comparison, in 2018, 107 people died by being stabbed with a sharp object and 150 were shot. A total of 246 of the murders were recorded in the metro, with 58 rural murders, Winde said.
“The fact that murder numbers have increased year-on-year is deeply concerning and points to systemic failures by the police to curb crime and violence. The anti-gang unit, introduced with much fanfare in November last year, has resulted in some arrests, but it is clearly having little impact on the murder rate,” he said.
“The police are woefully under-resourced in this province.
In the Western Cape, the police to population ratio is one police officer for every 509 people. In the Cape Town metro, this is even higher at 1:560 against a national average of 1:375.”
He added that Western Cape police were having to investigate 10 new murders per day.
He said that without an effective police service, the province could not make progress toward reducing the murder rate.
“That is why I am pursuing the intergovernmental dispute with national Minister Bheki Cele, who controls the South African Police Service. If he won’t take action himself, he, as head of SAPS, must be compelled to allocate the resources this province needs.”