Crime…A word that has injected a lethal dose of fear into the hearts of South Africans. It has robbed and snatched away our will to roam our neighborhoods and shopping centers and ravaged our freedom, ripping it to shreds…
Crime is a prominent issue in South Africa. The country has an extraordinarily high rate of murders, assaults, rapes (adult, child and infant), and other crimes compared to most countries. Most emigrants from South Africa state that crime was a big factor in their decision to leave.
The reasons for South Africa’s high crime rate is a topic of anguished debate. Apartheid’s brutal legacy, high unemployment and poverty, gaping social inequality and the abuse of alcohol and drugs are all cited.
So is crime out of control? Are the police effective in their duties in curbing crime? There is a difference in opinion where some may be in the affirmative that the police are effective in their duties and than there are those who are of the opinion and say the police force is littered with corruption and corrupt police officers. This notion is debatable and a whole force cannot be judged on the actions of a few rotten eggs. However the majority aim to think that we are fighting a losing battle against criminals. So what do we do to ensure that we win back our right to live without the fear of being another crime statistic?
Education is crucial: Recent research shows that those who earn the basic school-leaving certificate are six times less likely to commit a crime than those who don’t. Criminal syndicates, often run by foreigners, are rife.
Lenasia and Lenasia South are such suburbs where crime has spiked in recent times. You dare not step out of your home with jewelry, cellphones or handbags! But rather with flack jackets and pray that you make it back safe and sound to your home. This may seem extreme and drastic, but in the recent spate of crimes in these areas, criminals heinously commit the crime with little or no remorse and fail to leave witnesses resulting in many lives being lost for something as meageras a theft of a cellphone.
The Lenasia CBD is always abuzz with a hive of activity by shoppers and residents. In their wake you get a parade of facaded and scrupulous people ready to pounce on unsuspecting and innocent victims that are just going about their errands.
Hijackings, house breakings, armed robberies;chain and cellphone snatchings in the CBD has plagued the picturesque suburb. Gunshots break the eerie dead of night frequently, instilling fear and panic in those that lie in bed trying to get peaceful nightssleep. Truth is we are not safe even from municipal workers, where in certain cases criminals posed as electricity and water employees.
Take the case of Zahid Asmal, former Channel Islam International (Cii) news editor and 702 Talk Radio reporter, was robbed and beaten at his home on Honeysuckle Avenue, Ext 3, Lenasia.
Three armed men stormed into Asmal’s home; they escorted him to his bedroom; tied him up at the back of the toilet and demanded money. He was beaten, and as a result, a few of his ribs were broken and he had a heart attack. Asmal says, “Crime in this country has become a norm.”
Even with visible sector policing, armed responses, car guards, criminals are daring to take chances. They are as bold as can be, and go where no criminals has gone before…Attacking in broad daylight!
It’s good and well that some people barricade themselves behind high walls lined with razor sharp barbed wire or electrified fences that resemble unpenetrablefortresses like Sun City Prison or Alcatraz or arm their homes with the latest security equipment. But what about the less fortunate, those that don’t have the affordability or means to take refuge behind electrified fences or barbed wired high walls or arm their homes with alarms and security protocols?
What about those that leave South Africa and seek refuge in other countries?Crime is prevalent all over the world, and although not as rife as in South Africa, it still lurks ready to strike a blow, just ask Mark Fish when he was robbed in the United Kingdom. Read the article here:Footballer Tied Up And Robbed the grass may be greener on the other side, but it takes a lot more manure to maintain it.
Sure we need to protect ourselves and take precaution, but we can’t hide forever and we can’t be scared. Seneca once said, “He who does not prevent a crime when he can, encourages it.”
We need to be proactive in our communities and fight this crime demon and exorcise it once and for all. We won’t totally enjoy a crime ridden community, but we can transform and mould it, so that we can enjoy the freedom of our beautiful country that we fought for so long…As Mandela once said,” it always seems impossible until its done.”
We can all make a difference if we stand together and fight the criminal elements of society, as there is no honour amongst thieves, and if we win this war…we can leave a legacy and a peaceful sanctuary that the future generation can be proud of.
There is a simple way to solve the crime problem: obey the law; punish those who do not.” Rush Limbaugh