Every time a crime-trends statistics report is released, there follows a round of indignant finger-pointing. Opposition politicians call for the head of the minister of the day, who usually rounds and asks them what they’re doing to fight crime.
This time was no different.
However, Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula — he of the now infamous invitation to “whingers” to leave the country — did say he was considering shortening the reporting cycle of crime statistics. This is to be applauded as it will mean a quicker response to crime trends and give ordinary citizens an idea of how best to protect themselves.
“Those who say I must resign should look to what they themselves are contributing to the fight against crime. I am going to continue … to find answers to the problems we have,” Nqakula said.
“The people who say I must resign — they must check how they are accountable to the high levels of crime in this country and what they are going to do.”
He also said he did not understand why crime was being linked to the 2010 Soccer World Cup. “If there is a major threat against this tournament, tell us, we want to deal with it. Is there going to be a bomb that is going to go off at the stadium?”
Speaking at the release of the crime statistics, Nqakula said that South Africa had successfully hosted the Rugby World Cup in 1994, when crime levels were much higher.
Police National Commissioner Jackie Selebi also chimed in, saying he was not lying awake every night “with 2010 on my forehead”.
It is not so much a “major threat” the men should be worried about as daily reports of horrific crimes being visited on our guests. They will do well to remember that the country has never played host to such a large tournament, and with the world’s media in attendance, all it will take is a few incidents to sour the mood.
Maybe we do need another leader in the fight against crime. Someone beyond reproach, who at least gives the vague impression that they care. Someone with an interest in examining the root causes of crime. Someone with a plan.
|FULL SPEED AHEAD||NOT SO FAST|
The South African wheelchair marathon champion and Paralympics 2008 team member hopes to join Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong as a winner of an ESPY Award — the Grammys of the sport world — following his nomination for best male athlete with a disability. We’ll be holding thumbs.
This influential rugby administrator has called for South Africa to be expelled from Sanzar. He complains that the players are being “killed” by the air travel and South Africa have left their best players at home for the Test at Telstra Stadium. Australian Rugby Union chief John O’Neill, however, called the comments “premature and unnecessarily pre-emptive”. Which is putting it kindly.
June 28 to July 4
1. ANC: Conference report ‘fabricated’
The African National Congress (ANC) has dismissed a media report on its national policy conference in Midrand last week.
2. Neocolonials under every bed
Why does Ronald Suresh Roberts keep scrabbling long-buried controversies to the surface? Recently, he recycled President Thabo Mbeki’s 2002 Briefing Notes by arguing that the Congress of South African Trade Unions is the counter-revolutionary stooge of the right. His new book, Fit to Govern, peels back the “stiff dishonoured shroud” of Barney Pityana’s 2000 media racism inquiry.
Joint 3. Arsenal’s captain Fabtastic?
On a chilly October evening in 2003, Rotherham United arrived at Highbury for a third-round Carling Cup tie relieved that Patrick Vieira, Arsenal’s formidable captain, was unable to play because of injury.
Joint 3. Tutu: Mugabe needs face-saving options
South African Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu said on Wednesday Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe needed face-saving options for there to be a chance of him stepping aside.
4. ANC policy meet: Amandla ngawethu
Delegates at the African National Congress’s (ANC) policy conference this week seemed on course to ensure that President Thabo Mbeki’s legacy of centralising power in the Union Buildings would be eradicated through a series of policy changes set to return power to the ruling party’s mass base.
5. The strike is over
The government’s final wage offer was accepted by the majority of public-service unions on Thursday, bringing an end to the longest public-service strike in South African history.
6. Refugees flood into SA from Zimbabwe
The number of Zimbabweans seeking asylum in South Africa has increased dramatically since Robert Mugabe’s police assaulted the country’s opposition leaders on March 11 this year, experts say.
7. Mbeki heats up leadership race
Party leader and head of state Thabo Mbeki narrowly won the first round in the battle for the future of the African National Congress (ANC), but faces a bruising fight ahead as the divided party prepares to select new leaders.
8. Mugabe plays risky game with Zim economy
President Robert Mugabe’s new push to get tough on the economy may bring short-term political benefits but is likely to leave Zimbabwe in even worse straits as its economic infrastructure collapses.
9. Fierce unity debate grips African summit
African leaders argued fiercely on Monday over whether to rapidly create a single state stretching from the Cape to Cairo, with one small group threatening to break away and forge ahead with the project.
10. Agliotti and the Cuban ‘drug lord’
The Mail & Guardian has identified a notorious international fugitive as part of Glenn Agliotti’s former circle of intimates — adding a new twist to the probe of Agliotti’s relationship with police National Commissioner Jackie Selebi.