A total of 6 163 people were killed in South Africa between July and September 2021, Police Minister Bheki Cele says.
The revelation is contained in the 2021/22 quarter two crime statistics released on Friday.
With 1 056 more people killed, this represents a 20.7 % increase compared to the corresponding period.
However, compared to the same period in the 2019/20 financial – when there was COVID-19 lockdown, the figure represented a 13.2% increase.
Compared to a period without Lockdown, this would have resulted in an increase of 717 deaths.
According to the statistics, 1 334 murders occurred at the home of the victim or of the perpetrator.
From a sample of 5 176 cases, police determined that 2 424 people were murdered in public places such as streets, open fields, parking areas and abandoned buildings.
A total of 424 of the murders occurred at taverns, shebeens, nightclubs and bottle stores.
Liquor outlets, said Cele, were the third most likely place to be killed in South Africa.
During this period, 23 SAPS officers were killed between July and September 2021.
"Most (6) were killed in KZN, followed by Gauteng and Western Cape, each recording 4 police killings," the Minister said.
Cele cited the violent July unrests in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng as part of many factors that contributed to the increase in murders,
He said: "This is evidenced by the KwaZulu-Natal province recording a 44.4% increase in its murder cases in the period of July to September this year."
With 536 more deaths compared to the previous year, KZN recorded 1 744 murders during this period.
A total 229 more people were murdered in the Gauteng province between July and September 2021.
The Minister said while it was clear that the July unrests contributed to the murder grim figures, he pointed out that Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and the North West also recorded double-digit increases in murder cases during this reporting period.
However, he said a glimmer of hope was shone through from the Western Cape province, as it was the only province to record a decrease in murder cases.
Out of the top 30 murder stations, the Harare, Khayelitsha and Nyanga police stations in the Western Cape, recorded decreases in their murder figures.
"We remain encouraged by the decreases and attribute them to the resourcing of policing in the Western Cape through more personnel and vehicles deployed at identified hot-spots, especially in the Cape Town Metropole," he said.
He reiterated that the province received the lion’s share of policing resources and funding to bring about peace and stability.
"To date the SAPS has injected the most resources in that province and in KZN, compared to all other provinces," he said.
The Minister said it was clear that intervention measures were beginning to bear fruit in the Western Cape.
"We’re seeing a pattern of stability emerging," he said.
Cele said the Ministry was making a call to the province to work in conjunction with the SAPS in the utilisation of the resources they are plaughing into the fight against crime.
"We believe this will give us better results when we work as a collective in order to sustain what we have achieved," he said.