Original piece by Sivuyile Ncuthushe, published on News24 and reproduced here without omissions and with minor editing, and with his permission.
While Bheki Cele was in office the national crime level decreased from 2 196 948 to 2 168 259. Since Phiyega took over the stats show that the crime level increased again up to a level of 2 255 751. The numbers have said it all. This means changes in police management had an impact on crime stats. Not forgetting that there were also complaints that Bheki Cele made the police trigger-happy. Nevertheless this is not the only contributing factor.
Many people and organizations say the problem is the number of guns in circulation in the country to such an extent that they call for gun-free South Africa. Last week in Cape Town a police officer was stabbed to death with a knife whilst carrying his gun. A number of police officers were reported to be shot and killed during the past two weeks including the latest one. May their souls rest in peace. This makes me worried because these are people who are trained and paid to protect us, how are they going to do that if they can’t protect themselves? Last year I wrote an article about the crime rate where I examined and discussed the competence of the police. I am not going to expand into details about that, but ask yourself: are these people competent enough to protect us?
When ANC President Mr Jacob Zuma visited the family of the deceased police officer he said that the question South Africans should ask themselves is if we should have a gun-free South Africa, or if we should keep our guns and die? Speaking of a gun-free South Africa, how is that even going to be possible? Does this actually mean that people should turn-in their firearms? As I explained in my previous article, only the licenced guns will be returned. So if you want to have a gun-free South Africa you must realise that it is not possible, because unlicenced guns are circulating and some are still entering the country. How do you dry the river if you did not stop the water flow from coming, or at least redirect them? Unlicenced firearms are more plentiful than licenced guns. If you check the statistics, by far the most crimes committed in South Africa are not committed with licenced guns, but with unlicenced guns. As an example, Lucky Dube was said to be shot with a gun that was not South African registered, and you know that as freedom fighters we had a way to bring guns from other countries into South Africa. If you did that, do you think others can’t do it? Let’s say we agree that we want gun-free South Africa and that we hand over our guns; do you think criminals are going to surrender their unlicenced guns? Why doesn’t Mr. Zuma just say that South Africans need to decide and deliberate on whether we should have a “licenced gun-free South Africa” so that criminals can kill us as we are defenseless, or rather that we should have guns than die trying to protect ourselves with nothing?
I agree with the statement that guns don’t just kill people, but rather that people kill each other. The question that needs to be discussed is what the causes of the high crime-rate are, and once that question is answered we can begin to discuss the measures to prevent or diminish it. Crime is caused by many factors that all need to be addressed equally. You can’t just say it is because there are many guns in circulation. Even if there are no guns, knives will be used to perpetrate crime. If there are no knives, stones or sticks or will be used. Or hands. Who said people can’t kill without any of these?
When is the ANC government of old people going to learn that before any problem can be solved, it needs to be clearly defined?
By Sivuyile Thanklord Crisboy Ncuthushe
(Cover Photo courtesy of http://elthalen.deviantart.com/art/Denmark-Grunge-Flag-292905554)