Bheki Cele. Picture: THULI DLAMINI
Bheki Cele. Picture: THULI DLAMINI

On Thursday the police minister released the annual crime statistics, and while the country appears to have been shocked I was not shocked at all. We have been hearing stories of increased femicide, rape and murder on the Cape Flats for months. We must also bear in mind that these are only the numbers that are recorded. Many sexual offence cases are not reported.

Crime in this country has reached boiling point. In fact, all kinds of crime have increased since last year. We are living in a war zone, a living hell. This demon needs our collective efforts to fight against. It needs all of us to commit ourselves to building a national democratic society where we live with each other in harmony.

Most importantly, we need a police service that is corruption-free, police who go to work because they love their jobs and not only because they want a salary. Police have been our No 1 enemy in the fight against crime because so many are in the pockets of criminals.

The government needs to find new strategies to deal with this demon. We need greater visibility of police in the townships in particular. We need police who are capacitated to do their jobs. We need police stations that are well equipped to deal with criminal elements. We need members of the community to understand that the police can’t do it alone. As citizens of this country we have to be part of the solution. 

Tom Mhlanga