THE rape of a paramedic, who were attending to a baby with burns, ranks as one of the most heinous crimes this country has ever witnessed.
It is an horrific assault on a person who makes tremendous sacrifices to save lives and prevent harm to strangers for very little reward.
All readers of The Times condemn this action and stand behind the victim as she recovers from this assault.
But this is also an attack on the very fabric of our society, it is an assault on the foundation values of humanity.
It shows that there is no longer even the faintest notion of respect for the basic humanity of fellow citizens in the eyes of these thugs.
It is this sort of incident which causes anger of the type which results in calls for police to adopt a “shoot to kill” approach.
How many would shed a tear if the perpetrators of this crime were to be blown away by rounds from a policeman’s weapon.
But we should contain our anger and instead work with the police to arrest, try, convict and jail these people.
This is not the easy path, but it is the only path that seriously challenges crime.
The community of Durban Deep must stand shoulder to shoulder and work with the police to identify these criminals.
It has been shown time and time again that when people unite and take a stand, the game changes for criminals.
Communities that have involved their residents in vigilance, in detection and in sharing information on crime have without exception seen a drop in criminal activity in their neighbourhoods.
Those who committed this terrible crime must find themselves in a hard jail cell for life where they can mull over the awfulness of their actions until the end of their days.
30 November 2009
The Presidency last week announced that President Jacob Zuma has taken a decision to appoint Advocate Menzi Simelane as the new National Director of Public Prosecutions. Simelane’s appointment is effective as from tomorrow, 1 December 2009.
Advocate Simelane has a Baccalaureus Procurationis (BProc) and LLB degrees from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He served pupilage at the Durban Bar. He is a member of the Johannesburg Bar where he practiced. He previously served on the Board of South African Tourism and the Gauteng Tourism Agency. In addition he served as the Commissioner of the Competition Commission from 1999 to 2005. He became the Director-General of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development in June 2005 until he was appointed as the Deputy National Director of Public Prosecution at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in October 2009. Read More…
This from President Jacob Zuma’s latest newsletter:
Taking forward the fight against crime
When we were campaigning for the 2009 general elections we stated clearly and with conviction that we would go all out to win the war against crime. We want South Africans to be safe and to feel safe.
Crime situation in our country is bad, but we are not saying it is way beyond other countries in the world. It is much safer to walk in our streets than of many other countries in the world. However, we do not want to tolerate any crime, even if our levels are lower than of other countries.
In our 2009 election Manifesto we placed crime alongside other priority areas, such as health, education, rural development and land reform, as well as creating decent work. We made an undertaking that we would actively combat serious and violent crimes by being tougher on criminals and organised syndicates. Read More…
This is the Mo Ibrahim Index’s ranking of African countries in terms of Safety and Rule of Law. South Africa comes in at number 7. With 18000 murders a year this must mean that the index has been generous or that Africa is a very bloody continent indeed.
This from a commenter on this blog calling himself Ian Doha:
President Zuma – you mentioned ongoing meetings with the public sector. The public sector has shown its inability to deal with crime over and over. It is time to draw in private sector resources to a greater extent -not guards, but their planning capability, like at BAC and SABRIC, to name only two.
To raise the numbers of policemen by 20-odd thousand is not going to get results – focusing on developing their capabilities will. Read up a bit on capabilities-based planning as approached by especially military forces elsewhere.
Throwing more money at Forensic Science Laboratories will be meaningless unless the people’s capabilities are developed, or better people recruited. From personal experience I know that the equipment is there but the majority of the personnel do not even know how to use standard computer software.
Changing the name of the service to a force (a) harkens back to the apartheid years, and (b) will by itself do nothing to promote effectiveness – only more money to be spent on changing stationary, vehicle signage etc. The same goes for the rank structure. By the way Mr. President, the name “inspector” is world-wide recognised as a police rank.
Cash in transit heists – the private sector, under the auspices of the SARB, have now for 5 years been given time to sort out their business and to ensure that they self-regulate and put proper standards in place. This has obviously failed so government regulation should be the next step. Use the best practise standards of a company like SBV and enforce it throughout. This will soon get rid of the fly-by-nights.
It is good and well to talk up a storm about action that wil be taken against poor station commanders, but it is time that you start making some examples. Some of these commanders are literaly getting away with murder.
Your refer to the crime stats as showing “considerable progress”. Well, I suggest you talk to the head of crime statistics and find out exactly how the stats are calculated – it will make your blood curdle. Then engage the banking sector and insurance sector to obtain the real levels of fraud in only those environments. The police commercial crime stats only relate to reported cases.
In the final analysis the problem of crime can be traced back to the following five issues: (1) the porous borders (see the contribution of foreigners to inter alia fraud, CIT, bank robberies); (2) lack of visible policing; (3) an ineffective prosecution system; (4) lack of properly embarking on PPP strategies harnessing the private sector (despite the fact that you all say you do); (5) failure to recognise that most of the trio crimes are organised in nature, and dealing with it accordingly.
Couldn’t have put it better myself. Thanks Ian
Here it is, the telling table of murder statistics released by the police today. It shows that our country still has a long way to go before it conquers this scourge.
NEWS that Canada has granted a white South African refugee status because his life is in danger at the hands of his black countrymen is shocking and saddening.
It says more about Canadian perceptions than South African reality.
The truth is that the overwhelming majority of crime victims in this country are black and many of the perpetrators are white.
But such perceptions cannot just be wished away, they must be actively neutralised by every South African that is proud of their country.
It is time that we stopped giving importance to the racial identity of the victims and the perpetrators of crimes.
This is not as easy as it sounds and there are some cases which are easier to report on without the race tag than others.
It goes without saying that the racially motivated murder-spree that hit the community of Skierlik would be impossible to report without mentioning racial identity.
There could be no denying that the accused deliberately sought out and killed black South Africans, leaving whites that he encountered on the way unscathed.
But racially motivated crimes of this nature are in the minority. Most crimes are committed for immediate material gain or as part of larger organised crime networks.
The racial identity of a victim or a perpetrator is not the most important fact when armed robberies, murders or hijackings are reported.
We should not flinch from reporting on crime as this is a major social problem facing the nation.
But the focus of such reporting ought to be on the crime itself and how the criminals might be brought to book by the authorities — not on the race of the perpetrators and victims.