Despite property-related crimes falling 20.8% during the first three months of 2021 and stock theft declining by 11%, 11 people still lost their lives in attacks on farms and smallholdings.
Police Minister Bheki Cele said the 11 murders were as a result of 10 incidents during his presentation on the fourth quarter of the national crime statistics.
Of those murdered, four were farm dwellers, four were farm owners, two victims were farm employees and one was a night guard at a farm workshop.
Sheep, poultry and cattle remain the top objects of stock theft crimes, with Cele adding that pigs and donkeys were also being stolen.
Increase in murders
Despite some encouraging declines in certain sub-categories of crime, 4,976 people were murdered in the first three months of the year alone – an increase of 387, or 8.4%.
Of these, 2,378 people were killed in public places such as streets, open fields, parks, beaches and abandoned buildings.
The top causal factors that result in murder remain arguments and robberies, followed by mob justice and gang-related incidents.
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Limpopo, the Free State and the Northern Cape all recorded a decreases in murder cases.
The Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal recorded 21.5% and 16.9% increases in murders respectively.
Cele said police were making strides in fighting various crime categories, including murder.
In the same breath, however, he acknowledged there were some provinces “regressing the gains they previously made”.