We All Must Fight Crime in South Africa
This Friday, in two different courts within South Africa, two cases of murder of two women were heard. In both cases, the young ladies left home and their bodies were later found some days with ropes around their necks. Apparently, they were both strangled to death. Anthea Thopps of Beaufort West and Meghan Cremer of Philippi were the unfortunate victims of violent robbery. A cell phone and a car were possessions of the victims that led the police to the suspected robbers.
As our hearts go out to the families of the victims at this difficult time, we cannot but think about many others whose murders go unnoticed or unannounced in the media. In the streets, and in the homes, in the farms where gangsters attack farmers and their families at night or when there is no one around for miles to help. Many South Africans keep losing their lives for no reason but that someone who is jealous of their victim’s possessions will do all it takes to take away those possessions, including murder in cold blood.
It is time South Africans of all colour or creed came out and condemned these senseless killings in no uncertain terms. The authorities need to have an ear to the ground. Usually, people of dubious character are known in their communities and if the police and those in authority could gain the confidence of the ordinary South African, they could gather a lot of vital information that could lead them to potential criminals and their intended hits.
According to the reports in the media, it is the locals who helped in the apprehension of the suspected murderer of Anthea. When her stolen cell phone was traced to particular neighbourhood, the locals helped the police flash out the suspect from his hiding place in an outside toilet and apprehend him. Local communities are usually ready to cooperate with authorities to curb crime because they are also victimised by the lawless in their neighbourhoods. They understand that when these bad characters are behind bars, their lives are that much more safe. It therefore makes sense to engage those at the grassroots in the fight against crime.
Capetown has gone the high tech way, to fight crime. The terror unleashed on the residents of most townships in the province has led the authorities to make these costly decisions as matters have progressively got worse. Still, even with the use of advanced technology, the fight against crime cannot be won without the involvement the local communities. Winning the trust of the community is the first step towards winning the war. The local people must feel comfortable sharing information that they have knowing that they will not be exposed or victimised by the security personnel. When the people are assured of confidentiality and protection, they will talk and the authorities will be saved time and expenses involved in trying to figure out some of these cases.
Again we hope the authorities will take an upper hand in matters involving crime prevention and thus ensure a safer living environment for all South Africans and any visitors within the borders of this great nation.