'War zones have fewer killings than SA'

OPPOSITION parties have questioned the accuracy of crime statistics and believe the ANC government is "not getting the job done".

The crime statistics were announced by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa in Cape Town yesterday.

UDM chief whip Stanley Ntapane said: "The rate of serious and violent crimes is of particular concern. There is also a question mark over the accuracy of these statistics.

"Earlier this year substantial questions were raised about certain police stations tampering with statistics in order to meet departmental targets. We also know that many crimes, such as rape, are severely under-reported."

He said no matter how the government spun the statistics, one fact was undeniable: "South Africa suffers from a shockingly high rate of crime, far worse than most other countries in the world.

"There are war-zones with lower rates of killing."

DA safety and security spokesperson Dianne KohlerBarnard said the ANC released crime statistics to the public "when it suits them, rather than in the manner that will best assist researchers and the public in responding to crime".

Business Against Crime South Africa chief executive Graham Wright said: "Today's statistics reflect a mixed bag of results, where reductions in reported crime in some categories are dampened by significant increases in other categories such as aggravated robberies, sexual offences and commercial crime.

"At a holistic level, we remain deeply concerned at the high level of crime and violence in the country."