50 people murdered every day in SA

Sipho Masombuka

Sipho Masombuka

An average 30 children are murdered in South Africa every week, according to the national crime statistics released in Pretoria yesterday.

While in the 2006/07 financial year, 1152 children were murdered, this year's figure has shot up to 1410. Attempts on the lives of children increased to 1488 compared to 1309 in the last financial year.

But, serious assault on children decreased from 20445 in the last financial year to 19687.

SAPS analyst Chris de Kock said this trend of child murders was a "very serious and worrying issue". He said most children killed were those between the ages of 16 and 18.

"According to docket analysis, most children killed are those with tendencies of gang behaviour. A small number of children below the age of 16 are killed," said De Kock.

Another area of great concern is the significant rise in house and business robberies, and truck and car hijacking.

House robberies increased by 13,5percent, business robberies increased by 47,4percent, car hijacking increased by 4,4percent while truck hijacking increased by 39,6percent from the 2007/08 financial year.

Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula said the statistics were a serious cause for concern.

"Some of the car and truck hijackings are part of organised crime. The cars are needed for a quick getaway from crime scenes and as battering rams against cash vans in cash-in-transit heists. The trucks carry valuables that organised gangs want," said Nqakula.

Nqakula said these crimes, especially house robberies, were of serious concern because lives were lost in these incidents.

"They are the crimes that we mostly pay attention to," said Nqakula.

Though murder has decreased by 4,7percent, 18487 people were murdered during the period under review (2007/08), which amounts to almost 50 murders a day.

Rape decreased by 8,8percent, robbery with aggravating circumstances by 7,4percent, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm by 4,6percent and indecent assault by 2,1percent.