A total of 6 945 people were killed in South Africa between July and September, down from 7 004 that were murdered in the same period in 2022.
This is a 0.8% drop in the number of people killed in the reporting period compared with the same period a year ago.
The news was revealed by Police Minister Bheki Cele during the presentation of second-quarter crime statistics at the GCIS offices in Pretoria on Friday.
Cele said the statistics show that less women and children were killed in the reporting period, decreasing by 10.9% and 7.%, respectively.
He said 881 women were killed, down from 989 recorded in the same period in 2022. According to Cele, 293 children were murdered, down from 315.
The minister added that a drop in murders is reflective of the SA Police Service’s continued efforts to combat crime through decisive action and robust community involvement.
“I wish to make this point very clear, the second consecutive drop in the country’s murder figures is in no way a claim of any victory by the police,” Bheki Cele said.
“While there are green shoots, one murder is one too many. We believe the declines are as a result of a combination of operational policing strategies and policy interventions.”
Women, children bear the brunt
He said women and children continue to bear the brunt of physical abuse from those they are supposed to feel safe around.
“Disturbingly, the crime figures show that far too many women and children in this country are not safe around people that they know and trust, and at times those that they love and in the places were they are supposed to be safe.”
Women were victims in 1 514 incidents of attempted murder reported between July and September, up by 18.6% from 1 277 recorded in the same period in 2022.
Women were also victims in 14 401 assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm incidents in the second quarter, up 5.1% from more than 13 701 in 2022.
In the same period, 361 incidents of attempted murder against children were recorded, a jump by 67 from the 294 recorded in the same period in 2022.
There were 1 820 cases of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm perpetrated against children, down by 75 from 1 895 recorded in 2022.
There were 10 516 rape incidents reported, said Bheki Cele, down by 74 from 10 442.
The minister added that 4 726 rape incidents took place at either the home of the rape victim or that of the perpetrator known to the victim such as a family member, a friend or a neighbour.