Lisa Vetten

Lisa Vetten

    Telling us what counts

    "This year, when the statistics went up the increase was explained as proof of greater public confidence in the police, thus encouraging women to report the crime. These self-congratulatory claims, certainly demonstrate chutzpah on the part of the police," writes Lisa Vetten, the gender programme manager at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation.

    Witches, angels and the media

    Journalists are the self-appointed custodians of the pot of public sympathy and they guard its apportionment jealously. To the good and virtuous they dole out rich, nourishing platefuls of comfort; to the undeserving, a grudging and watery dilution of feeling. Consider the very different treatment meted out by the media to Leigh Matthews and Annemarie Engelbrecht.

    Mbeki and Smith both got it wrong

    Statistics, in and of themselves make for boring conversation and dull reading. Yet they leap to volatile, political life when used to make arguments about race and violence, sex and death -- as the angry exchanges between President Thabo Mbeki, anti-rape activist Charlene Smith and the Democratic Alliance's Ryan Coetzee demonstrate. These debates are important for the questions they raise, argues Lisa Vetten.