A typical murder victim in the Western Cape is most likely to have been stabbed, had alcohol beforehand and to be a black man aged between 18 and 35, according to a report on Wednesday.
This profile was the result of a report by the provincial community safety department, which looked at murders from 2008 to 2011, the Cape Argus reported.
The department used mortuary data rather than crime statistics to investigate the circumstances under which people died.
Civilian oversight director Gideon Morris said the police's crime statistics did not allow for detailed analysis, but were a good indicator of what was happening on the ground.
According to the report, the province had the third highest murder rate in the country — 43.4 victims per 100 000 people — between April 2011 and March 2012.
Most murders were committed in Nyanga, Gugulethu, Khayelitsha, Milnerton and Mfuleni.
Eighty-seven percent of the victims were male. Half of those murdered were stabbed, a quarter were shot and about 17 percent died of severe assault or blunt trauma.
Seventy percent of those killed tested positive for alcohol.