Mpumalanga murder rate shoots up ... but it’s not all bad news

2014-09-25 15:43

Mpumalanga had a mixed bag of results when it came to its latest crime statistics. Many crimes have decreased, but Mpumalanga’s murder rate rose by 16.4% according to the statistics, which are from April 2013 to March 2014.

Despite the increase, there are places that recorded no murder incidents – such as Badplaas, Breyten, Charl Cilliers, Mbuzini and Perdekop.

Embalenhle township near Secunda recorded 48 murder cases, Ermelo 46 and Tonga (near Malelane) 44. Vosman township near Emalahleni had 44 murders and Culcutta near Bushbuckridge had 38.

Murder is categorised as one of the contact crimes among attempted murder, sexual offences, assault with an intention to cause grievous bodily harm, common assault, aggravated robbery and common robbery.

Mpumalanga Safety and Security MEC Vusi Shongwe said the 16.4% increase in murder was of great concern.

“This figure is more than the national murder rate,” said Shongwe.

The Democratic Alliance commended Mpumalanga police provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Thulani Ntobela for a job well done in reducing other crimes but expressed concern about the murder rate.

The party’s safety and security spokesperson Jane Sithole said: “Looking at the absolute values of murder and attempted murder with the 2011 population estimates, it’s scary to think that there is one in 2 553 chances that someone will attempt to murder you in the province, with one in 4 987 chances that the individual will succeed in murdering you.”

Shongwe said that cluster police stations such as Witbank (Emalahleni), Pienaar (Nelspruit), Acornhoek, KwaMhlanga, Middelburg and Secunda collectively contributed about 55% to the total number of contact crimes reported for the period under review.

He warned that monitoring of liquor outlets would be beefed up.

“We have observed that most contact crimes take place among people who know each other and that’s why it is difficult to police this type of crime. Alcohol and drug abuse seem to be contributing towards most contact crimes. Most of the contact crimes happen during weekends around midnight and they are also linked to liquor outlets,” said Shongwe.

“We are going to monitor liquor traders’ compliance with their operating licences and those who are not complying will have their establishments closed.”

Tonga is also leading in sexual crimes, with 233 cases reported. Vosman came second with 174 cases and KaBokweni near Nelspruit is third, with 159 cases.

Places such as Val (near Standerton), Pilgrim’s Rest, Maartenshoop and Ekulindeni (Badplaas) recorded no sexual crime cases.

Delmas is a hot spot for car hijackings, and 35 cases were reported. Vosman came in second with 23 incidents.

Places with the highest truck hijackings are Grootvlei (near Standerton), which recorded 25 cases, Delmas (23) and Emalahleni (18).

Emalahleni had 1 546 house burglaries and its neighbouring town of Middelburg had 945 cases. Mpumalanga’s capital, Mbombela, is third with 925 cases followed by Ermelo at 879.

Mbombela is also the capital of commercial crimes – 854 cases were reported, against 559 in Ermelo and 352 in Middelburg.

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