MEC tables Gauteng’s main causes of unnatural death

Johannesburg – On Tuesday Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku said over 4 000 people die in a year due to shootings, stabbings and assault. 

  Masuku said in the 2018/2019 financial year, 4 894 deaths were recorded as a result of gunshots, stabbings and assault.  He said 2 416 gunshot deaths were reported in 2018/19; which translates to about six deaths a day. 

  “The rate of unnatural deaths as a result of violence was a cause for serious concern for the country in general and the Gauteng province in particular,” Masuku said.

  Motor vehicle accidents were the second highest cause of death at 1 695, followed by stabbings at 1 295. A total of 1 183 died due to assault. Those who died due to hanging were 970, and over 1 000 people died as a result of medical procedures.

  Poisoning is the next highest cause of unnatural deaths at 909, followed by burns at 795, stillbirths at 710 and falling from heights at 416.

  Drowning stood at 223, motorbike accidents at 190, railway deaths at 177 and electrocution at 177.

  Sexual assault caused 37 deaths in 2018/19, a significant increase from 13 in 2017/18.

  “These figures, recorded by state mortuaries, reflect deaths at the incident scene or people who survived the initial trauma, but later died of complications,” a department statement said.

  “Accident and emergency departments in our hospitals are the busiest around the month-end period, with a notably high number of gunshot wounds, stabbings and motor vehicle accidents patients coming in. One of the contributing factors is the high level of alcohol consumption, which leads to violence and reckless driving,” Masuku said.

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