South Africa recorded almost 70 murders a day in the first half of 2022, police said Friday, up 16 percent from last year and which authorities called “high and worrisome.”
“Arguments and misunderstandings” as well as “retaliations and revenge” were the leading motives for the murders, with vigilantism taking third place, according to Police Minister Bheki Cele.
“The number of murders in this country remains high and worrisome,” he told reporters.
Killings were up 16.5 percent in the first six months of 2022, according to official statistics, compared to the same period last year.
There were an average of 65 murders a day for the whole of last year.
Informal policing has become widespread in South Africa where most cannot afford the private security companies that protect high- and middle-income homes.
People often complain that the police force is slow to respond to, or curb crime, ultimately driving vigilantism.
On Wednesday, two suspect robbers were stoned to death and their bodies burned by a mob in the northeastern Limpopo province after they tried to kidnap a woman, police said.
Angry crowds have also hunted down illegal miners and migrants in recent weeks, after a mass gang rape of eight women in west of Johannesburg in July.
Rapes were down about five percent in the second quarter of 2022, but the total was still very high, with 9,516 cases recorded -- more than 100 a day.