South Africa’s national police authorities say they are hiring mental health experts and sociologists to understand and try to solve the problem of crime in the country where almost 60 people are killed each day.
The Police Minister Bheki Cele said Thursday the government decided to use the services of psychologists and sociologists to help finding the causes of the rampant murder rate and to determine prototypes in the killings, including a weekly jump in murders on Friday nights and a high rate of assassinations among family members and close friends.
“A very high number of people are murdered by the people that they know,” Cele told parliament.
Crime in South Africa has sharply risen and the country is being affected by a new wave of violence as a total of 21,022 people, or 58 each day, were murdered between April 2018 and March 2019, up 1.4 percent from the same period last year.
Among the victims, 1,014 were children, 29 more than last year and of the great part of murders were done with guns, knives and other sharp instruments. At the same time, 736 of the murders were committed by children, according to Major General Norman Sekhukhune reported Thursday morning.
The police say that most murders occurred in Cape Town, while Gauteng, the province that includes Johannesburg, and KwaZulu Natal, another economic and industrial center, are also hardly affected.
Sexual offenses increased by 4.6 percent, with 41,583 incidents of rape reported to the police. The number of sexual assault cases against minors rose by 899 over 2018.
South Africa’s murder rate has been gradually growing over the last six years, with authorities blaming alcohol and a raging opioid and crystal meth epidemic for a large amount of the violence.
The country has also struggled lately to hold a wave of xenophobic violencedirected at the immigrant community.