Getting away with murder

Releasing crime statistics for the 12 months to March, the Police Ministry said the number of murders fell by 3,4% to 18 148, slightly more than the United States.

Police minister Nathi Mthethwa said he was concerned at a 41,5% hike in the number of business robberies, mostly targeting small businesses, and a 27% jump in house robberies.

Speaking of the robberies, Mthethwa said the ministry “simply cannot tolerate a situation where people do not feel safe in their homes”.

He said the police had now begun an audit of how they deployed their human and material resources.

Police National Commissioner Bheki Cele promised recently that he had begun a process of “professionalising” the police force, and promised that, among others, science graduates, chartered accountants and “IT gurus” would be hired.

While South Africa’s astronomical murder rate will be of concern to thousands of soccer fans next year, they hardly need worry. After all, they don’t live here and will most likely be insulated behind a wall of law enforcement officers.

Pity the ordinary South African though, for whom there can be no escape.

Richard Goldstone
The eminent judge deflected criticism this week of his report on the Gaza war, saying he was completely independent and that nobody had dictated the outcome.
Anele Mda
Cope moved swiftly to suspend its youth leader after allegations that she called the party’s deputy general secretary “a stupid, white token bitch”. Racist, undiplomatic, vulgar and rude.
Take your pick.

Most-read stories

September 17 to 23 2009

1. Semenya saga: Chuene’s trail of lies
An exchange of emails between the doctor of the South African athletics team, Harold Adams, and Athletics South Africa boss Leonard Chuene makes it crystal clear that Chuene knew Caster Semenya was gender-tested in South Africa before the World Championships in Berlin last month.

2. Fly me to Mars. One-way’
Neil Armstrong’s first small step for man was widely believed to be the start of a long and glorious road to the stars. Forty years after the first Moon landing, the dream has faded. Astronauts have been stuck in low-Earth orbit, boldly going nowhere.

3. Chuene apologises for lying about Semenya tests
Athletics South Africa (ASA) president Leonard Chuene admitted on Saturday that he refused to accept advice from ASA team doctor Harold Adams to withdraw Caster Semenya from the world athletics championships in Berlin last month.

4. Manuel caught in Cosatu’s crosshairs
Trade union federation Cosatu has declared war on Trevor Manuel, the minister in the presidency responsible for the national planning commission (NPC), accusing him of trying to take over the running of the country.

5. Malema in hot water, again
A neighbour of ANC Youth League’s Julius Malema has alleged that he was assaulted during a housewarming party at the Sandton home of the youth leader on Saturday night.

6. Minister mulls tender-fraud report
The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has handed Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula a docket on what may be one of South Africa’s largest cases of state tender fraud to date.

7. Why ANC dumped council of churches
The ANC has marginalised the South African Council of Churches in favour of Pastor Ray McCauley’s National Interfaith Leaders’ Council because it refuses to cosy up to the ANC, SACC leaders said this week.

8. Sports ministry calls for Chuene’s head
Athletics South Africa (ASA) must “fire” its president Leonard Chuene for “lying” about gender tests conducted on 800m world champion Caster Semenya, the ministry of sport said on Saturday.

9. No place for Hlophe on Concourt shortlist
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on Tuesday finalised its shortlist of the seven judges for four posts on the Constitutional Court.

10. Gadaffi getting away with murder
Wednesday brings excruciating embarrassment for the United Nations. It will honour the worst man left in the world, who now devotes his time to thwarting its attempts to bring other international criminals to justice.

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