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Yes, stats on murder, rape and other South African crime mostly correct

“South Africa: 55 Murders, 109 Rapes, Every Day as Black Crime Wave Continues to Envelop Country” reads a headline of an article published on both the Daily Archives and the New Observer, and shared on Facebook. 

The article was published on 11 September 2018, the day the South African Police Service published their crime statistics for 2017/18. It links to the police’s website. 

But do its stats check out?

Average of 56 murders, 110 rapes a day

First off, the police stats do not attribute any ‘wave’ or the commission of crimes to black South Africans or any particular group. 

The headline’s numbers are slightly off. There were an average of 56 murders a day in South Africa from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 – not 55. And an average of 110 rapes were reported each day – not 109. 

Other crime statistics in the article were mostly correct. A few were off by a count of one:

  • Attempted murder: 50 (not 49)

  • Sexual assault: 19 (not 18)

  • Attempted sexual offences: 6 (not 5)

  • Carjacking: 45 (not 44)

  • Robbery at residential premises: 61 (not 60)

  • Burglary at residential premises: 625 (not 624)

  • Theft of motor vehicles and motorcycles: 139 (not 138)

  • Theft out of or from motor vehicles: 354 (not 353)

  • Commercial crimes: 201 (not 200)

Read our factsheet on the 2017/18 police statistics for a summary of key crimes. – Africa Check


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