In crime statistics released last week by the minister of police, Bheki Cele, for the first three months of the year, Phalaborwa documented a 350% increase in assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm.

Last year, this time, GBH in Phalaborwa was recorded at two people, however, this year it has already reached nine. For the same period in Hoedspruit, the statistics show that there was a 50% increase in sexual offences and a 25% rape increase.

The stats revealed that robbery at residential premises increased by 200% in Namakgale, 166 % in Hoedspruit, 28% in Lulekani, and 25% in Phalaborwa.

It is not all bad in Phalaborwa, as they have had a 25% decline in rape cases in Phalaborwa and 27,3% in Lulekani. Theft of motor vehicles increased by 200% in Hoedspruit as they moved from two stolen vehicles last year during this period to six this year.
During this period both Hoedspruit and Namakgale had a 100% decrease in attempted and murder cases.

Hoedspruit spokesperson, Sgt Kenny Malele, said that Hoedspruit police were concerned. “Since lockdown was lifted, we see young children going to taverns, and it often ends with a young girl being sexually assaulted or raped. Some of the cases are never reported because families want to discuss it behind closed doors,” stated sgt Malele.