Crime in South Africa is rated among the highest in the world and the recent roundup of criminal offenses that have occurred over last few days does not indicate any control over curbing the violent crimes. While browsing through the media and court records, there were scores of petty to serious crimes committed over the past few days.
A photo of a police officer caught sleeping while on duty went viral on Facebook. The officers were sleeping in a police car that was parked at a petrol station on Sunday morning. Yusef Abramjee head of crime line asked the Gauteng police commissioner to investigate and take the necessary action. Apparently this is not the first photo of policemen caught napping instead of curbing crime.
On Monday morning this week, the body of a baby was discovered near the Greenstone upmarket shopping center in Gauteng. The baby was dumped in a medical waste box. Workers of the Solid Waste Department of the City of Ekurhuleni discovered the baby. It is confirmed the baby was born in the early hours of Monday, and the forensic department will investigate. The gender or race of the dead child was not established.
A group of heavily armed men wearing blue overalls and balaclavas stormed a busy shopping mall in Bloemfontein. The robbers took an undisclosed amount of money from a chain store and expensive alcohol from a liquor store. The police responded and a shootout between police and robbers ensued. During the shooting, a police constable was shot in the hand and underwent surgery and is currently recovering in hospital. The criminals hijacked a vehicle, with a woman and child inside the car and sped off. Later on the child was dropped off at the mall and found by police. The woman who sustained injuries was dropped off outside a hospital. Police subsequently recovered the stolen car in Gauteng. The police together with the shopping center management are hoping the video footage will help to identify the perpetrators.
Crime inside prisons is not uncommon in South Africa and over the weekend a raid on a Westville prison in Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal proved that more must be done to curb criminal activity within the jail walls. SIM cards and cellphones were discovered including unearthed phone chargers. Charges were connected illegally to power points linked to ceiling lights. Signal jamming is a problem within the prison walls, and prisoners are not allowed to keep cell phones while serving time. It was confirmed that almost 70 cell phones were seized. During the raid, drugs, dagga and mandrax tablets were confiscated. Perhaps the most surprising find was 50 litres of homemade beer brewing under the bunk of one of the prisoners in a cell shared by 60 men.
During the extensive prison raid, and it was discovered that it was business as usual for some convicts. One ran a taxi business from within the jail walls. Gangs formed within the confines of the prison walls are often the most dangerous perpetrators.
Crime on the streets and crime in the prisons does not send a positive note to the citizens of South Africa. It is obvious that prisoners have influenced the warders to assist with keeping crime alive within the confines of prison. Corruption is perhaps the biggest criminal offence in South Africa. The daily roundup of crimes committed in and around South Africa does not stop. There are numerous unreported crimes, and the people of South Africa have become accustomed to the danger lurking around each corner. Reported incidents of crime taking place often do not send a message of hope especially when police officials sleep on the job.
Opinion by Laura Oneale
RecordCenturian – Police Officers caught sleeping on duty
Kemptonexpress – Baby’s body dumped in medical waste box
News24 – Heavily armed gang hits Bloem mall, shoot cop and hijack woman and daughter
IOL – 70 phones seized in Durban prison
Photo Courtesy of Bob Adams Wikimedia/Flickr Page – Public Domain License