South African Police Minister Fikile Mbalula on Tuesday made it clear there was no time to waste when it came to the fight against crime.

Mbalula made these sentiments ahead of the release of 2016/2017 national crime statistics in Parliament. 

The statistics saw an overall drop in crime by 1.8% but saw murder, attempted murder and aggrevated robbery increase. 

Sexual violence, Property-related crime and assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm (GBH) meanwhile saw a drop.

Mbalula in his opening remarks, stressed the impact crime was having on communities across South Africa. 

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"I am aware that crime involves high emotions, rightly so. We must not see these statistics just as pure numbers. Behind the numbers are real feelings, real lives, real hurt, real harm, real losses, deaths, feelings of un-safety – these statistics represent the memory of that gruesome rape or murder, the fearful home invasion and loss of property. These numbers have consistently said no community can claim they live in safety and feel safe in South Africa.

"Our people are losing their children from heinous crimes, drug gangs’ infighting for turf wars, our people have no go areas due to criminality and violence that visits such areas."

The minister went on to outline the various crimes covered in the crime statistics, saying these would be used to strengthen the fight against crime. 

He also sounded a warning to those committing crimes, telling them the police would respond in equal measure to the crimes committed. 

"When I send a message to these violent criminals that “bazowuchama bawuphuze”, I seriously mean it and I am communicating in the language that these violent men who rape and murder would understand.

"Today I am saying to criminal gangs; “Nilibambe Lingashoni – I am coming for you hard, enough is enough."