Crime continues to soar across South Africa, resulting in the death of innocent people. From Cape Town to Johannesburg, residential suburbs are being targeted with crimes ranging from petty to more dangerous. While the unemployment factor remains high, people desperate to feed their families turn to crime for survival. The petty thieves do not allow the high electric fence to hinder their determination to break into a house. Often, the armed response teams arrive on the scene and capture the amateur perpetrators, who risk jail time for their reckless behavior. Other intruders get lucky and turn the stolen goods, often electronic equipment, into cash for much-needed provisions for their starving families. More serious crimes often result in a family member being critically injured by the intruder. Several reports indicate the ruthless criminal elements are stalking the residential areas, marking their claim and making plans to invade the privacy of homeowners.
With two men killed and one seriously wounded during a shootout, Cape Town city this week was considered to be a symbol of the ongoing taxi violence within the city. The suspects fled the scene on foot and police continue to investigate a motive for the killing. Earlier during the week, a taxi driver was shot dead and his body discovered by police officers, who are determining whether there is a link between the shootouts.
In Mpuma, this week, angry residents attacked the police by throwing stones at them for intervening in an assault on a local resident who was accused of dealing drugs. While intervening and attempting to stop the violence, the police were also assaulted.
KwaZulu Natal experienced the death of innocent residents this week. A police officer from Pietermaritzburg was shot in his driveway upon returning from work. The motive is unclear, although robbery has been excluded as the cause. Another woman returned from work and, while in the driveway of her residential complex, was shot and killed by intruders who fled in her car. Her body was dumped in the driveway and discovered by residents of the complex in which she lived. Paramedics arrived and performed advanced life support in an attempt to resuscitate her without success. In both instances, the police continue with their investigations.
East of Johannesburg, in the suburb of Benoni, a metro police officer died when he was hit by the driver of a car he tried to stop for allegedly speeding. The driver lost control of the car and hit the police officer.
Two African National Congress (ANC) representatives were murdered and a woman who survived the shooting has gone into hiding after being discharged from the hospital. The murder is assumed to be politically motivated between ANC and National Freedom Party (NPF) members. Residents are fearful of more tense situations arising from this killing. A heavy police presence in the area to calm down fears of any recurring violence remains constant. The area is a hotspot for political intolerance and the police have arrested several suspects who will appear in court.
As blameless people have died during the past week due to the soaring crime hike across South Africa, the fearfulness grows among the innocent and trusting people. South Africa crime statistics do not decrease but show a steady increase from petty theft to more serious crimes. As the criminal elements continue to wander around the country, South Africa is continually rated as one of the countries most ridden by crime in the world.
By Laura Oneale