South Africa’s police minister Bheki Cele has said that the country has seen a surge in murders since the COVID-19 lockdown ban on alcohol was lifted last week.
Cele made the announcement at a press conference at the Jabulane Hostel Flats in the township of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality in the South African province of Gauteng on 9th June.
According to local media, the police minister visited the area after six men were shot dead on the evening of 8th June and the authorities are currently looking for three men linked to the incident.
Cele said: “Nationally, we’d sit back and complain about 30 people [per day] who have died.
“Until Monday 1st June, which is not an entirely dangerous day, for the first time since the lockdown, we got reports of 40 people killed.
“The next day there were 51 [murders] and there were 69 this past Sunday.
“That has now just gone up, including attempting murder… and violence against women.”
Cele revealed that two women have been “brutally” killed this week.
Heavily-pregnant Tshegofatso Pule, 28, was reportedly found hanged from a tree in Roodepoort near Johannesburg on Monday, and Naledi Phangindawo, 25, was allegedly hacked to death close to her home in Western Cape.
Cele said: “It’s an issue that we raise as police and law enforcement that the [perpetrators] of the crimes are well known to the victims. By the look of things, both these ladies were killed by people known to them. I’m not confirming that – the investigations are ongoing.”
He also pleaded with families and communities to report abusive relationships to the authorities.
The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.