Police top brass said 31 officers were murdered in the first quarter of the 2023-2024 financial year — April to June.

31 cops shot dead in SA between April and June

TWENTY-FOUR people were arrested between April and June for the murder of police officers in South Africa as the number of incidents saw a significant increase in the latest crime statistics.

Police top brass said 31 officers were murdered in the first quarter of the 2023-2024 financial year — April to June.

This is up from 18 murders during the same period in 2022. Ten police officers were killed while on duty while 21 were killed off-duty. Gauteng registered the highest number, with 12 officers shot dead, from four during the same period last year.

The Western Cape was the only province to register a decrease, with one less officer killed. Thirteen law enforcement officers and security guards were also killed during the same period.

These statistics alarmed members of parliament’s portfolio committee on police, who were given an overview of the crime statistics. MPs quizzed police top brass, asking about the reasons for the murders and which officers were targeted.

National police commissioner Gen Fanie Masemola said motives varied, as some officers were killed as a result of the work they do.

“They are killed on duty and also off-duty. They are killed in most cases for their work and some officers, even off-duty, they are killed for their work,” he said.

Hawks head Lt-Gen Godfrey Lebeya gave a detailed breakdown on the issue, confirming 24 suspects had been arrested in connection with the murders.

“The cases are on the court roll. With regards to the reasons for the murders, they vary. We have observed there are areas when weapons are targeted.

“There are times when there are disputes at liquor outlets and there are those who are targeted while on duty because of the nature of the work they are doing. Suspects usually target them. There are incidents where it seems family relationships might trigger the killing of some colleagues,” he said.

Another matter MPs raised was rape at schools. Questions arose on the time these incidents occurred and whether children affected, either as victims or witnesses, had been offered counselling.

Sixty-nine rape cases were registered at educational institutions in South Africa between April and June; 55 of these happened at schools, six at creches, five at special schools and three at tertiary institutions. Gauteng led with 17 incidents reported, followed by KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo.

Rape cases overall decreased during the same period by 2.8 percent. A total of 9 252 cases were registered, down from 9,516. —TimesLIVE

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