Let’s deny crime room to flour­ish

Sowetan - - Opinion -

Some of the numb­ing num­bers for­mer statis­ti­cian-gen­eral Pali Le­hohla left be­hind when he went on re­tire­ment last year was that in the five years un­til the end of 2015, the as­sault and mur­der of women had risen by 31%. Adding that a woman dies ev­ery eight hours in South Africa by a cur­rent or for­mer lover/hus­band.

The new shift, which we wonder if Le­hohla’s sta­tis­tics man­aged to cap­ture, is the ris­ing trend of young men – still in their 20s – killing girl­friends they do not live with. Af­ter 27-year-old Sandile Mantsoe was sen­tenced to 32 years for killing Karabo Mokoena two weeks ago, Sowe­tan has re­ported on more femi­cide by his peers.

In KZN, Tha­bani Mzolo, 23, was ar­rested for the mur­der of his for­mer girl­friend, while in Gaut­eng Le­bo­hang Mo­fo­keng, 29, was nabbed for killing his ex.

In Limpopo, 27-year-old Le­siba Mot­sai got an­gry with his girl­friend and killed their baby with a pick han­dle.

Lobby groups are adamant that only 20% of gen­der vi­o­lence cases are re­ported in the me­dia, which means the real pic­ture is uglier than we can imag­ine.

But why?

Le­hohla once said the driv­ers of con­tact vi­o­lence in­cluded in­equal­ity, jeal­ousy and fi­nan­cial mat­ters – with anger, drugs and al­co­hol also play­ing a ma­jor role.

But that is not new. Apart from young killers en­ter­ing the fray, these driv­ing fac­tors have al­ways been there.

Another opin­ion is that the high mur­der rate of women is not in­creas­ing but con­stant, say­ing the only in­creased fac­tor is the me­dia cover­age and pub­lic out­rage.

It would ap­pear SA has no clue what to do to fight this scourge.

Po­lice Min­is­ter Bheki Cele, speak­ing at a re­mem­brance gath­er­ing for Karabo Mokoena in Soweto last week, said the coun­try needed a change of leg­is­la­tion to deal with femi­cide.

There is no ad­di­tional law that can stop the mur­ders. What SA needs is ef­fec­tive han­dling of crime and law­less­ness, start­ing with street vice.

Let us see po­lice take con­trol of the streets from the ruf­fi­ans. Let them make it dif­fi­cult for peo­ple to even con­sider petty crime.

Once the right things are en­trenched at these ba­sic lev­els, law and or­der should es­ca­late to big­ger mat­ters like the vi­o­lence on women.

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