A revo­lu­tion against crime

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In many peo­ple’s lives, there’s a time when a defin­ing mo­ment ar­rives. It sneaks up on you most of the time be­cause you’re not ex­pect­ing it, not re­ally want­ing it to ap­pear or hap­pen.

That’s what hap­pened to the fam­i­lies of hi­jack­ing vic­tims, lit­tle Sa­dia Sukhraj and fa­ther of two, Kelly Chetty. I al­ways say we would never know sor­row or pain un­til we have a per­sonal en­counter.

If you are read­ing this, how will you be feel­ing if Sukhraj was your baby girl or Chetty was your dot­ing dad or hus­band?

It seems that the sanc­tity of hu­man life has reached its fi­nal vor­tex and is spin­ning out of con­trol. Ev­ery good­bye to your loved ones could be your last and ev­ery meal with your fam­ily could be your last. How can we live know­ing that when we leave for work in the morn­ing, we may never re­turn?

Re­cently a clip went vi­ral on so­cial me­dia when two black parolees bragged about how they mur­der and rob for a liv­ing. They stated that if they don’t get money they will put the baby in the mi­crowave oven and roast it or slice the wife’s throat.

This is modern day South Africa which has been be­sieged by hard­core crim­i­nals hold­ing the coun­try hostage. These cal­lous killers crave the act of in­still­ing fear and men­ace, punc­tu­ated by long pe­ri­ods of plan­ning and hid­ing, spurred on by the delicious re­pel­lence and in­fu­sion of their next hit.

Pre­dictable larce­nies that feed a life of ad­dic­tion con­tinue un­abated. So too are farm mur­ders and pat­ri­cide. I’m think­ing Henri van Breda – what kind of beast will carve his fam­ily up like a hol­i­day roast? With a gen­eral elec­tion com­ing up, it is the sea­son for po­lit­i­cal as­sas­si­na­tions.

Hos­tels have be­come breed­ing grounds for death and cash-in-tran­sit heists have gained pop­u­lar­ity. These crim­i­nal el­e­ments are ene­mies of God – a sanc­tu­ary for the most un­nat­u­ral, abom­inable acts ever con­ceived by man at his most evil. Vi­o­lent crime is now a daily part of our lives.

About 19 000 peo­ple were mur­dered in SA be­tween April 2016 and April 2017. Be­ing put on an early flight is part of our risk make up. If you are lucky, you get to live an­other day.

Our govern­ment is help­less, their si­lence sig­nalling de­feat. Our politi­cians con­tinue to dis­trib­ute mean­ing­less re­as­sur­ances, like cheap, boiled sweets at a chil­dren’s party. The re­cent mass protest at the head­quar­ters of the Chatsworth Po­lice played out like a mob of French peas­ants bay­ing for the blood of Marie An­toinette, as cat­e­chism and so­lil­o­quy filled the deadly night breeze. It seems the will of the peo­ple were tested.

They were filled with a sense of ur­gency, fiery blaze in their eyes and vigour in­fused in their steps. No amount of rub­ber bul­lets and tear gas could am­pu­tate the de­fi­ant mood as multi-throated rib­aldry and high-grade pro­fan­i­ties spilled forth. It seems to me that the seed of a deadly revo­lu­tion has been sown.

So what are the answers to our prob­lems? Should we in­crease our ef­forts at so­cial co­he­sion to foster racial har­mony? Should we re­vamp a big­ger, bet­ter, cor­rup­tion-free po­lice force, with in­cor­ri­gi­ble and ul­tra-com­pe­tent crime in­ves­ti­ga­tors? Maybe we should en­gage a health­ier re­ward sys­tem for the vig­i­lante pub­lic – a vi­tal source of in­for­ma­tion?

How about a wa­ter­tight wit­ness pro­tec­tion pro­gramme, with all the perks of a new life? Bail and pa­role should never be granted to re­peat of­fend­ers. Po­lice Com­mis­sioner, Bheki Cele, re­cently openly lamented in a speech that a crim­i­nal was ar­rested, who had been out on bail 41 times!

Maybe more power should be del­e­gated to pri­vate se­cu­rity com­pa­nies. Prem Bal­ram’s RUSA have the knack of ar­riv­ing on crime scenes be­fore the SAPS. The role of bona fide pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tors should be recog­nised.

Dur­ban’s Brad Nathanson seems to be achiev­ing much suc­cess in this field, of­ten sift­ing out leads where the po­lice have failed.

Most of all, for­eign­ers seek­ing asy­lum and work in SA must be strin­gently vet­ted, in­clud­ing crim­i­nal pro­fil­ing.

Last but not least, is to bring back the death penalty for rape and mur­der.

It will go a long way to­wards serv­ing as a de­ter­rent, help re­move the toxic mi­asma from a de­cay­ing ju­di­cial sys­tem and will bring clo­sure to be­reaved fam­i­lies.

While many will say that un­timely deaths are just a case of be­ing in the wrong place at the wrong time or part of God’s plans, we all need to be vig­i­lant and con­stantly aware of our sur­round­ings, oth­er­wise we too could soon be cool­ing off in a coroner’s fridge. In the mean­time, while we work to make the world as we would like it to be, we have to deal with the world as it is.

KEVIN GOVEN­DER Shall­cross

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