South Africa: And we think that our police have problems?
The advice, offered by a smiling Charles Nqakula, the country’s embattled Minister of Safety and Security, to a passing-out parade for new recruits, drew immediate criticism.
Mr Nqakula was responding to complaints that because his force was undermanned and underequipped, officers were often slow to reach the scene of a crime. “If you don’t have a car, ride a bicycle or a donkey,” Mr Nqakula told the newly qualified officers at the weekend. His remarks came after an upsurge in armed attacks and concern that the country’s criminals are better equipped than its police.
“This is typical of the complacency of a government which is no longer accountable to any except its own,” a spokesperson for the opposition Democratic Alliance said.
The South African murder rate is second only to that of Colombia and reported rape cases rank among the highest in the world. Residents are 12 times more likely to be murdered in South Africa than in the United States and 50 times more likely than in Europe. The issue of violent crime has resurfaced recently after the country’s successful bid to host the football World Cup in 2010 and growing concerns that the event could be tarnished by attacks on visitors unless the Government brings crime under control.
This week the Government bowed to criticism and announced a new drive against crime with the backing of big business. However, there are frequent complaints about long delays between reporting a crime and police arriving at the scene. Most ordinary South Africans say that there is a huge gap between the Government’s promised action and the reality on the ground. . . . .
Thanks for sending this, Dan GIfford.