Cape Town - Over half of murders are caused by arguments or misunderstandings, according to a national murder study for the 2015/16 financial year, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko said on Friday.
The motives or causative factors leading to murders could only be established in 59% of cases, he told reporters at Parliament following the release of the latest crime statistics.
Of 1 727 murder cases studied, almost 60% resulted from social misbehaviour and around 28% from criminal behaviour.
Over a quarter of alleged murderers had previous convictions. Over 60% were unemployed.
Knives were the most common weapon (36.3%), followed by guns (32.1%) and other sharp instruments (11.1%).
Nhleko said an analysis of the figures showed that multiple murders accounted for 3.5% of the murder rate.
As an example, he said 55 victims were killed due to domestic violence in 21 dockets. Fourteen dockets accounted for 34 mob justice killings.
Other multiple murders could be associated with taxi violence, conflict among illegal miners, and gang violence.