South Africa: Cele Bemoans Growing Prevalence of Community Violence

Police Minister Bheki Cele has bemoaned the prevalence of violence in South African communities, saying this phenomenon was growing to "unacceptable proportions".

While all cases of assault have decreased by over 9% from January and March this year, 75 000 cases of common assault and assault GBH cases were opened with the police during this period.

The Minister revealed this while releasing fourth quarter statistics of the 2020/21 financial year.

Of the 2 855 incidents of assault GBH, Cele said it had been confirmed that alcohol was consumed either by the victim or the perpetrator or both.

Exactly 2 047 incidents of assault GBH took place at either a bar, a night club, a tavern or a shebeen.

"This doesn't exclude alcohol being present in parks, beaches and other places of entertainment.

"The Gauteng and Western Cape provinces recorded the highest assault cases. Just over 16 520 incidents of assaults both common and grievous bodily harm were domestic related, which means the victim and perpetrator knew each other," he said.

Cele said alcohol abuse is the "albatross around one's neck" for the country.

"Communities can no longer afford to stand aside and look; they have to be part of the crime solution, by saying no to alcohol abuse.

"Some communities have more taverns as compared to any other establishment in their area of residence, including churches and schools combined," he said.

"You simply cannot expect those communities to have social stability, due to the oversupply of liqour."

The Minister called on the alcohol Industry to also be part of the solution and offer social responsibility programmes in this regard.

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