SA Crime Rate: Embattled Phahlane Claims He Has Crime Under Control


Acting police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane has praised himself for taking down the crime rate in South Africa citing the official crime statistics which is yet to be published.

The embattled Phahlane said this during an interview with The Citizen where he spoke about the alleged corruption scandals he’s been embroiled in since the past week.

There, he said the state police has decreased incidents of crime in the past nine months from April 1 to December 2016.

“We have reduced crime in all categories and I’m sure by the time we have our annual crime statistics it will show a decrease,” he said giving credit not only to himself but also the members of the security department and South Africans.

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While it is still months before the new official statistics on crime rate in the country are released, crime monitoring experts think the acting police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane may be right by his speculations.

The state’s overall crime rate decreased between 2015 and 2016, with 2.1 million crimes reported in the 12 months measured. The department also revealed that all general categories of crime decreased, except for contact crimes, which remained “stubborn”.

Provincially, Limpopo and Mpumalanga crime levels increased, while all other provinces decreased. The Northern Cape remained stable. The biggest crime category to increase over the past year is robbery of cash-in-transit vehicles, though this is off of a relatively low base.

Between April 2014 and March 2015, there were 119 reported cases of these robberies – in the April 2015 to March 2016 period, this jumped 15.1% to 137 cases, said SAPS which also noted that  while the data was not yet on the same level as other statistical information, it is compliant with required legislation, and is thus endorsed.

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, however, announced this month that 83 479 people were arrested during 705 639 policing operations since October last year. In crimes detected as a result of police work, there was an increase of 8.4%, compared to 2015.

Meanwhile, concerning the expected 2016/17 crime data, Johan Burger of the Institute for Security Studies said there are signs Phahlane may be right – “although it’s early days for analysts to say that he had indeed succeeded in bringing the crime rate down”.

“What we did see in the SA crime stats released in September is that there was a decrease in some categories and in others there were promising signs.

“The rate at which serious crimes had been increasing had slowed down,” he said pointing out that the festive season crime figures released earlier this month were a good indicator of what to expect.

Phahlane also lamented the flurry of alleged scandals he was embroiled in, saying that while there was evidence he had brought down the crime rate, people were working to unseat him.

His comments follow reports that the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) had broadened the scope of its investigation of Phahlane, and was now probing how he bought and financed his vehicles.

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The Democratic Alliance also revealed more evidence of alleged corruption involving the Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane even as his private residence has been searched as part of a corruption investigation.

The DA said it will provide original documentation as evidence of further corruption allegedly committed by the commissioner and that it would also present a plan to ensure this matter receives urgent attention.