Hillbrow, South Africa continues to allow the criminals to rule the city as crime escalates out of control. Another attempted murder of an unidentified man this week in Hillbrow, South Africa spotlights the rise of uncontrollable crime within the city. Outside a strip club in Hillbrow, two men approached the victim, an argument ensued, and he was shot three times in his upper body. The man was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. The perpetrators fled the scene, and the police recovered the vehicle and unlicensed firearm. An attempted murder charge has been opened.
Murders, rape, theft, drugs and human trafficking are the average daily occurrences in the dodgy city of Hillbrow. The city was home to mainly white residents before the 1994 democratic elections, and due to the poor infrastructure could not cope with the influx of migrants from African neighboring countries and rural people who were seeking to live under the new democracy. A mass exodus of whites left the city in a slum condition. Overpopulated, unemployment, crime and poverty are the existing crisis, and a rapid increase of health concerns are the major problems.
Hillbrow was known as a trendy, cosmopolitan city and a safe place to live, with striking tall buildings and clean streets. Today, the degradation continues to rise out of control. It is a city where people dare not walk around, as hijackings, rape and murders happen all the time. The criminals, and in particular the drug lords, maintain a thriving business within the boundaries of Hillbrow.
Hillbrow is a notorious city with an alarming high crime rate, and corruption remains a constant problem. The police officers stationed in that area have been accused of protecting the drug lords and criminals. It is alleged that a large number of police officers within the boundary of the small dense city of Hillbrow protect criminals and gangs and allow crime to continue. Prostitution, illegal gambling, drugs and other incidents of crime soar while there are accusations that police accept bribes from the perpetrators.
Gareth Newham, from the Institute for Security Study, spent five years researching police corruption between 1999 and 2004 in Hillbrow. During this time he recorded the arrests of criminals was having no impact whatsoever, because as soon as one person was locked up there was a replacement ready to take his or her place immediately. Newham reported that the police officers were paid a substantial amount of money to move drugs around the city. Police officers lives would be placed in danger if they refused to cooperate with drug lords and other criminals.
Several police officers have been charged with corruption while others remain under suspicion. Former Crime Intelligence head Richard Mdluli,w ho was recently charged with murder corruption and fraud charges, did little to prevent the corruption of police officers who willingly continued to help escalate the increase of illegal activities. At times, several residents would complain, but time after time, nothing was done, and the crimes continued.
Police vehicles are always visible within the city. Junkies and drug dealers fill the parks and children play alongside them without suspecting the dangers lurking about. The exchange of drugs and money happen openly while police do nothing. Arresting a drug dealer does not help, because often they return to the streets within a day.
Hillbrow is riddled with corruption, and although statistics have shown a downward trend in crime around the country, this city remains a dangerous place. The refugees from war-torn African countries continue as they seek shelter in Hillbrow, a city measuring less than one square mile. This has quickly become one of the most feared cities in South Africa and one of the deadliest. The refugees leave one battlefield behind only to enter an equally dangerous one in the “sanctuary” of Hillbrow
South Africa has one of the highest rate of human trafficking on the African continent. Hillbrow is one of the cities that are linked to the high levels of human trafficking for sexual exploitation, drugs, forced labor and illegal adoptions.
Twenty years into democracy has done nothing to stop the surge of crime within South Africa and Hillbrow, as the dense, degrading and overpopulated scum city remains a criminally controlled region. Corruption continues to soar, criminals walk freely, ruling the city of Hillbrow, South Africa, a city that seems much closer to Hell than the Heaven it used to be.
By Laura Oneale