The latest crime stats have revealed a massive increase in the number of kidnappings in South Africa.
The kidnapping rate has spiked significantly when compared to the 2 000 kidnappings in the same period last year.
According to the statistics, there were 4 028 kidnappings during the period under review, an increase of 2 028 (101.4%) compared to the previous quarter.
On Wednesday, Minister of Police Bheki Cele and South African Police Services (Saps) officials were briefing the Parliament Portfolio Committee on Police on crimes reported to Saps from the second quarter of the 2022/2023 financial year – from 1 July to 30 September 2022.
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Provinces with most kidnappings
Gauteng recorded the most kidnappings with a whopping 2 104 compared to (796) last year.
This followed by KwaZulu-Natal at 785 (407), Western Cape 248 (219), Mpumalanga 243 (171), North West 174 (128) and Limpopo 124 (64).
Hijackings, robbery and rape were the leading circumstances for kidnappings, accounting for 2 378 kidnappings followed by taxi-related with 235, retaliation/revenge/punishment at 218, domestic at 125 and intimidation with 81.
Kidnapping for ransom
Surprisingly, the crime stats showed that kidnappings for ransom and extortion only accounted for 102 kidnappings, albeit in some if not most of the cases, very large amounts of cash was demanded from the victims families.
The spike in kidnappings included South Africans of all ages.
Last month, the kidnapping, rape and brutal murder of four-year-old Bokgabo Poo shocked the nation and the world.
“A four-year-old with so much to live for and look forward to, her life cut short by a man who has since been arrested,” Cele said.
Cele said Saps, especially in the Western Cape, has had several breakthroughs in kidnapping cases, where victims have been safely reunited with their families.
Cele referred to a few successes including the rescue of 8-year-old Abirah Dekhta.
Dekhta was found during a search operation after being kidnapped in Rylands nearly a month ago.
Gauteng police also made a breakthrough in the fight against kidnapping, this after arresting a 43-year-old man purported to be linked to detained suspected kidnapping kingpin Faizal Charloos.
The suspect was handcuffed during an integrated intelligence-driven operation led by the National Counter Crime Intelligence Unit.
Cele has called for stronger interventions in the fight against crime.
“Specialised intervention in provinces right down to station level, must be bolstered to deal with carjacking, kidnapping cases and other crimes in the Trio Crimes category,” Cele said.
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