South Africa has an extreme high rate of crime and is third-highest in the world. The recent statistics showed a rise in violent crimes in the last 3 months in South Africa. The most common crimes include Assault, Rape, Homicides, and many other violent crimes.
Being one of the countries with high rate of racial crimes in the past, South Africa is known for many shocking crimes every year.
Hence, in this article, I have listed Top 12 crimes in South Africa in the year 2022 that shocked many in the world.
Top 12 Crimes of South Africa in 2022
1. Soweto Shooting
On 10th July 2022 few gunmen armed with rifles and pistols opened fire at people sitting in a tavern in the township of Soweto, killing 15 and wounding nine.
According to the police, a group of men entered the Orlando East tavern before shooting randomly at the patrons and then fled the scene. They are still on the run and the number of attackers are also unknown.
The Police is asking for the public for the help to identify the culprits.
2. Pietermaritzburg Shooting
A mass shooting occurred at Samukelisiwe tavern in Sweetwaters, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, the same day when Soweto mass shooting took place.
According to reports the gunmen fired the shots at 12 random patrons with a 9mm pistol. Among those victims, two people died at scene and two more died at the hospital, while the remaining eight were injured in the attack.
It has been told that there were no fights or robbery at the place and the firing started randomly.
The police arrested four people in relation with the shooting, out of which, 2 suspects were found with an illegally obtained firearm and 17 rounds of ammunition when they were arrested while the other two were released due to lack of evidence.
The police is still conducting the investigation in the case. A memorial service was held on 14th July 2022 at the KwaNxamalala Community Hall for the 4 killed victims.
3. Arshad Sharif Murder
Arshad Sharif, a 49 years old Pakistani journalist was shot dead by the Kenyan police on 23rd October 2022 in Kajiado, Kenya.
The Kenyan police has described the incident as a case of mistaken identity during a search for a similar car involved in a child abduction case. But a team of Pakistani investigators claims that it was a “planned assassination”.
Sharif was living in exile after he fled to Kenya to avoid arrest in the wake of multiple cases, including sedition charges against him for making comments on his show deemed offensive to the military.
Sharif was living with his brothers Khurram and Waqar Ahmed in Kenya.
It has been claimed that Sharif was brutally tortured for hours before being shot dead. His fingernails were pulled out and his fingers and ribs were broken during torture. It has also been stated by the Pakistani journalists that around ’10 American instructors and trainers’ were present at the shooting range on the day of Sharif’s murder.
It has been alleged that the Kenyan police did not cooperate with the Pakistani investigators and avoided giving information about the persons present at the range.
The report issued by the investigators suggests the bullet that fatally wounded Sharif was fired from either inside the car or from close range. The investigation is still going on in the case.
4. River Yala: The River of Deaths
The river Yala is a tributary of the Lake Victoria, flowing in western Kenya. This year it has been a centre of attraction as starting from the July of 2021 to October 2022, a total of 36 dead bodies have been found in the river.
Activists Boniface Mwangi and Hussein Khalid of Haki Africa have lifted the lid on shocking murders of people killed and their bodies dumped in River Yala.
According to Khalid, “He saw 21 bodies in the mortuary at Yala hospital out of which some had their arms tied behind their backs, polythene bags on their heads, and showed signs of torture. While others had been in weighted sacks and neatly packed and sealed like a parcel.”
He added that, “At least 10 were found in sacks floating, which the community thought that someone had dumped garbage in the river but, after a while, they began to attract flies, and community members realised something was wrong.”
When the news was released on social media, more than 50 families of people who had gone missing in Nairobi travelled to the town, in search of their loved ones.
Till now 19 bodies have been identified using DNA analysis and handed over to the family members, while 14 bodies were buried without identification.
The reasons and culprits of the killings are still mysterious. It has been estimated that they might be the judicial killings but the judicial authorities have always denied it.
5. Democratic Republic of Congo Conflict
In the month of November, the M23 attacked the two villages- Kishishe and Bambo, that killed at least 131 civilians of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The M23 is also known as the March 23 movement. It is a Congolese Tutsi rebel military group composed of ethnic Tutsi. It is based in eastern areas of the DRC, mainly in North Kivu province.
The UN investigators said the attack appeared to be a reprisal for a current government offensive on the rebels.
It has been reported that 102 men, 17 women and 12 children were arbitrarily executed by the rebel group as part of reprisals against the civilian population. At least 22 women and five girls were also raped.
But the M23 denied the massacre, blaming that they stray bullets for just eight deaths.
The UN report also noted that M23 fighters had buried the bodies of the victims in an attempt to destroy evidence.
The DRC President Felix Tshisekedi has accused neighbouring Rwanda of seeking to destabilize the country by providing weapons to the rebels. However, the Rwanda government denies the allegations.
6. Janusz Waluś Stabbed in Prison
Janusz Waluś(69), who was serving a life sentence for the murder of South African anti-apartheid leader Chris Hani, was stabbed in prison in the last week of November.
Waluś was stabbed days after the country’s top court ordered him to be released on parole. This created an outrage among the people of South Africa. It has been estimated that his release was the reason that one of the inmates in the prison stabbed Waluś.
Hani was shot dead in the driveway of his house a year before South Africa’s first multiracial elections. The shooting occurred just as negotiations to end apartheid were entering their final phase, stoking tensions that some feared would erupt into civil war.
Waluś was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1997 for the murder of Hani and had been in the jail since then. He had been discharged from hospital on 7th December and placed on parole under strict conditions.
According to the Constitutional Court, Waluś was sentenced to serve two years under community corrections in line with the parole regime upon which he has been released.
Hani’s family and the members of South African Communist Party have opposed the decision of releasing Waluś and persuaded the court to reconsider it.
7. Abergil Gang Arrest
Abergil gang is Israel’s most wanted gang which deals in drug trafficking, extortion and murder. The gang has been linked to two brothers who in 2011 were extradited to the US to face murder, money laundering and drug dealing charges.
On 17th November, one of the members of this gang, 46 years old, was arrested in an affluent Johannesburg suburb in the raid conducted by Interpol South Africa and special police units. They also arrested seven other members along with guns, drugs and a van equipped for torture from the house.
According to police reports, the suspect was hiding in South Africa since 2015 when he was enlisted as most wanted on Interpol’s wanted list.
The reports said that a vehicle, most probably a delivery truck seized must have been adapted for use by a sniper and had heavy sound insulation and a chair bolted to the floor that was designed to be used for torture.
According to Israeli authorities, the suspect is wanted over incidents in 2003 and 2004 for placing an explosive bomb underneath a vehicle of a man in Israel on two separate occasions.
8. Reign of terror in Ekurhuleni
In November 2022, a serial rapist finally pleaded guilty for 93 counts of rape in Ekurhuleni.
Nkosinathi Phakathi (32), has admitted to a nine-year reign of terror that haunted the women of Ekurhuleni. He allegedly terrorised the Ekurhuleni area, raping several women and children in their homes and some while walking in public spaces. His youngest victim was a 9 years old girl.
Initially he faced 203 charges, but 55 of them were withdrawn. Now he has pleaded guilty to the remaining 148 charges, which include 93 of rape, as well as counts of sexual assault, kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, theft and possession of an unlicensed firearm.
He was arrested in March last year, where he was shot in the leg while allegedly trying to flee and his leg had to be amputated.
9. Finetown Shooting
In October 2022, a mass shooting occurred in Finetown, Ennerdale, south of Johannesburg, that killed seven people and injured five.
It has been reported that about four suspects tried to rob the street vendors selling chicken feet. The vendors allegedly resisted and threw stones at the suspects and their vehicle’s rear window was damaged.
Then the suspects drove off and came back on foot after a while, armed with firearms and shot at the vendors and bystanders. The police is looking for the suspects.
10. St Andrew’s College Suicide Case
In 2018, Thomas Kruger, a 16 years old boy hung himself at St Andrew’s private school in Makhanda.
Kruger’s parents have instituted a claim of 60 million against the school and the school’s water polo coach David McKenzie. According to them, their child had withdrawn himself and was depressed because of being sexually molested and groomed by McKenzie. This depression took his life.
This November the respondents are demanding access to the reports to see if there were any other issues that Thomas may have had from psychological reports, but the family won an application not to grant access to their son’s medical records to the respondents.
It has been found that the headmaster, Alan Thompson failed to deal effectively with complaints raised against the coach.
11. Ottery Double Murder Case
Ottery couple Rugeya and Riedwaan Addinall was killed at Ottery, Western Cape home on 5th January 2019. The gardner of the couple, Gcinlelitha Ngcobelothe and his acquaintance Lwazi Ntsibantsiba are charged with the double murder.
The duo were arrested after the couple, both aged 82, were found strangled to death and their possessions packed in their Mercedes-Benz in the driveway.
Shortly after the murders, cops arrested the duo from Delft and they were charged with two counts of murder and one charge of aggravated robbery. Both have pleaded not guilty and have blamed each other.
According to reports, Ngcobelothe allegedly took his friend to the Addinalls’ house and had planned to rob them. The duo tied ligatures them and forced rat poison pellets into Rugaya’s mouth.
In October 2022, a warrant of arrest was issued for an elusive alibi witness, who was supposed to testify in the trial of Ngcobelothe. The trials of the case are still in process.
12. Romay Van Rooyen Murder
On 10th September 2022, Magistrate Romay van Rooyen, 51 was murdered in her Marina da Gama home.
Her nephew, Cassidy Hartzenberg (18), who was a pallbearer at her funeral was arrested from his home in Mitchells Plain, in relation to the murder.
Rooyen’s lifeless body was found out by her family members at her house. Also her Toyota vehicle was missing from her house which was found at Hartzenberg’s place at Mitchells Plain.
According to the chargesheet report, it has been alleged that Hartzenberg met the magistrate at her home with a request for money, but when she refused he strangled Van Rooyen then stole her vehicle and an unknown amount of cash.
He has been presented to the court several times but the hearings are postponed due to lack of robust evidence. He is under the police custody and had applied for the bail. Meanwhile, the investigation is still in progress.