Crime Stats: Western Cape is the murder centre of South Africa

Cape Town - The Western Cape is home to a third of the country’s police stations where the most killings have been recorded and it's also home to South Africa’s longstanding murder capital - Nyanga.

Seven out of the top 10 police stations where the highest numbers of murders have been recorded are also in the Western Cape.

But the Roodepoort police station in Gauteng has experienced the sharpest percentage increase in murders, followed by Ivory Park in this province.

INFOGRAPHIC: South Africa's crime stats at a glance

In terms of reported rapes, Gauteng is home to nine out of the top 30 police stations in the country which recorded the highest number of reported cases.

Details of the reported murder and rape situation in South Africa were revealed on Tuesday with the release of the police’s official crime statistics.

The statistic cover the year from April 2016 to the end of March 2017.

‘Not just numbers’ 

On Tuesday in a speech in Parliament for the release of the figures, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said he was aware that crimes involved high emotions.

"We must not see these statistics just as pure numbers," he said.

"Behind the numbers are real feelings, real lives, real hurt, real harm, real losses, deaths, feelings of unsafety – these statistics represent the memory of that gruesome rape or murder, the fearful home invasion and loss of property."

Murder situation

The Western Cape is home to 10 of the top 30 stations, while Gauteng is second with seven stations and KwaZulu-Natal third with six stations.

In the Western Cape, gang violence has become a major problem with Mbalula earlier this month calling for the army to help police in combating this.

READ: Hard Livings gang singled out in Parliament as threat to Cape Town residents

According to the recorded murder figures, out of the country’s 30 police stations where the highest number of murders were reported:

- Nyanga in the Western Cape remains South Africa’s murder capital with 281 murders being recorded in the year ending in March. This is up by just two cases from 279 murders recorded in the previous year.

- The Roodepoort police station in Gauteng, which ranked number 27 out of the top 30 murder stations, had the highest percentage increase in reported murders - 51.7%. The number of murder cases increased by 30 from 58 in the 2015/2016 period to 88 recorded in the 2016/2017 period.

- The Gugulethu police station in the Western Cape, ranked number nine in the top 30 murder stations, recorded the sharpest percentage decrease of 26.1% in murders. In the 2015/2016 period, 184 murders were recorded. While over the year ending in March 2017, 136 murders were recorded.

- Hillbrow in Gauteng, which is notorious for crimes, showed a 13.6% decrease in reported murders. In the 2015/2016 period 103 killings were recorded. This dropped by 14 to 89 killings recorded in the year ending in March 2017.

- Only one police station in Mpumalanga is among the country’s top 30 when it comes to reported murders - that of the Embalenhle station were 85 murders were recorded in the 2016/2017 period.

Here is a look at the murder trend over the past 10 years:

SA’s recorded rapes 

Gauteng is the province with the most number of police stations featuring in the country’s 30 stations where the highest number of rapes were recorded.

There are nine Gauteng police stations among the top 30.

This is followed by the Western Cape where six stations are among the top 30 police stations in terms of reported rapes, and KZN where six stations feature.

According to recorded rape statistics:

- The Inanda police station in KZN is the rape capital of South Africa, with 309 incidents being recorded there over the 2016/2017 period.

Police stations in the Western Cape recorded the highest percentage increase and decrease in reported rapes.

- The Mfuleni station recorded a 40.8% increase - 130 rapes were reported in the 2015/2016 period, while 183 were reported in the year that concluded in March 2017.

- Meanwhile, the Khayelitsha police station recorded a 27.2% decrease in reported rapes. The number of reported cases, 191 in the 2015/2016 period, dropped by 52, to 139 cases in the 2016/2017 period.

- The number of reported rape cases remained the same at the Alexandra police station in Gauteng. A total of 142 cases were recorded in both the 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 period.

- The lowest number of rapes reported at the top 30 police stations in terms of this crime were 139.

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