In presenting the crime stats in Parliament on Friday, Police Minister Bheki Cele did not mince his words when ascribing many of South Africa’s crimes to the abuse of alcohol.
While his officers are busy enforcing an alcohol ban under South Africa’s lockdown regulations to reduce the number of liquor-related trauma patients seen at hospitals and ensure they can deal with Covid-19 patients, Cele said it was clear to him that alcohol played a part in rapes and murders.
“Inanda is tops for rape in the South Africa, uMlazi comes second. Inanda is third with murder, uMlazi is fourth in the whole country. Which means our most problematic areas are uMlazi and Inanda.
“One other problem we have found with Inanda is that most people are raped coming from shebeens, they are raped around shebeens or they are raped in shebeens.
“Murders will go with these rapes, which means alcohol does play a role with these issues.”
Cele said that contact crimes directly related to alcohol consumption included 1430 murders, or 6.7% of murder cases; 1294 attempted murders, or 6.9%; 2859 rapes, or 6.7%, 19843 cases of assault GBH (grievous bodily harm), or 12% of the national figure; and 8755 cases of assault, 5.2%.
Of these crimes, many occurred in an establishment that sold alcohol, whether it was a nightclub, shebeen, tavern, bar or bottle store: 843 murders, 848 attempted murders, 348 rapes, 11128 cases of assault GBH and 6298 cases of assault were reported to have occurred in such establishments
The stats highlighted one of the country’s worst cases of rape, when eight men gang-raped a woman in the toilet of a KwaMashu tavern.