A total of 7555 people were killed in South Africa between October and December 2022, said Police Minister Bheki Cele.
The 10% increase was on Friday released by the Minister while publishing the 2022/23 third quarter crime statistics. The period is between October and December.
He said: “Out of the 7 555 people murdered in the three months of reporting, 3 144 people were killed with a firearm, 2 498 people were killed with other weapons such as knifes, sharp and blunt instruments, bricks and in many cases bare hands.”
He said this was a clear indicator that “a broader conversation must be had about what is at the heart of violent crime in the country”.
While gun violence is problematic and poses a serious threat to lives and livelihoods, an analysis of current and previous statistics, he said, illustrates that firearms were only part of a bigger problem.
“At the core of the matter, is human behaviour. We have to be honest as South Africans about the causes of violence and address them.”
He attributed high unemployment rates and poverty levels, mushrooming informal settlements with little to no services and other socio economic ills breeding criminality as leading contributors.
Other attributors included the high number of undocumented foreign nationals that were hard to trace after the commission of a crime.
“The violence that is stalking communities is translated to increased number of assaults, which escalate to attempted murders and in some cases murder.
“The reality is assaults are feeders of domestic violence and other violent crimes,” he said.
The Minister called for an “intense community centered” and intelligence led-solution to fully address the proliferation of firearms.
“Someone somewhere, somehow, knows something.
Police are also on the pulse in removing illegal weapons off our streets,” he said.
In the past twelve months alone, police had permanently removed and destroyed 65 519 firearms.
Minister Cele said the South African Police Service (SAPS) would continue to intensify operations to detect and remove illegal firearms and ammunition, whilst legislation intervention through the Amendment to the Firearms Control Act, to address the availability of guns from communities, was underway.
Source: South African Government News Agency