“It is completely unacceptable that around nine out of ten murder cases in South Africa go unsolved,” said Tshepi Mmekwa, Action Centre coordinator at Action Society. “This completely nullifies the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele’s claim that they are making more arrests. It serves absolutely no purpose to arrest people just to release them to continue murdering innocent women and children.”
Under the mismanagement of Cele, the South African Police Service (SAPS) has continued to deteriorate, with only 14,5% of murders and 10,43% of armed robberies solved, making the police 30% less likely to solve murders and 39% less likely to solve armed robberies than in 2018. Cele became Police Minister in 2018.
“During his State of the Nation Address, President Ramaphosa prioritised strengthening SAPS’ response to crime and corruption,” said Mmekwa. “But there is no clear plan on how the police will improve its performance. A clear plan would be to get a competent, experienced person to run the police force. A clear plan would be to get rid of all corrupt commissioners, mid-managers and officers. Don’t appoint more inexperienced boots on the ground before investing in reservists, crime intelligence capabilities or specialised units. Arrests need to have results, not be an attempt to try and make a Police Report show something positive.”