Christmas crime stats: Bheki Cele puts ’embarrassing’ cops on naughty list_1

To all intents and purposes, Cele had a “good story to tell” about the Christmas crime stats on Tuesday 21 January. The top-cop was in Durban to deliver a speech on SAPS’s Safer Festive Season campaign, and just for a change, he had a spring in his step for all the right reasons – but that didn’t stop him from reprimanding those who are letting the force down.


A concerted effort to reduce the crime rate over the festive period seems to have been quite successful. Despite increases in vehicle-related reports, some serious offences have seen a 10% decline from the same timeframe recorded last year. SAPS officially define the festive season as 15 October to 11 January.

SAPS Christmas crime stats: Bheki Cele celebrates success, and chastises ’embarrassing officers’


Bheki Cele isn’t one to suffer fools, though. Once he had presented the highlights of SAPS’ crime-fighting victories over Christmas, he referred to the naughty list. Several reports and clips of officers behaving badly have been shared on social media – and the minister is keen to nip this “concerning conduct” in the bud.


“Ladies and gentlemen, while we have recently seen embarrassing and very concerning conduct of some members of the South African Police Service recently. I am confident that these are just isolated incidents that are being dealt with internally and appropriate action will be taken against any of these members.”
“Those who put the organisation into disrepute will be dealt with severely. However, I have no doubt this great organisation is full of dedicated and committed men and women and the festive season successes are evidence of their hard work.”Bheki Cele


Minister Cele implored the boys and girls in blue to “keep the same spirit, motivation and energy levels” for the year ahead. An overwhelming majority of our police officers did an amazing job over the Christmas holidays, and we’d also like to extend our gratitude to those who are working to make SA a safer place.

Festive crime – the good, bad and the ugly


Crimes on the decline

The national murder rate during this period declined by 1.4% over the festive period.Sexual offences – such as rapes and sexual assaults – decreased by 9.9%. Property-related crimes (burglary, stolen vehicles and stock theft) dropped by 10%.


Crimes which saw an increase

Car hijackings have shot-up by 11%.Truck hijackings, meanwhile, were also 9% more frequent over the holidays. In total, 24 827 drunk drivers were arrested as a result of police action – a rise of 16% from 2018/19.