State must deal with crime

The world's attention was focused on Durban as it hosted Fifa's 2010 Soccer World Cup preliminary draw.

The world's attention was focused on Durban as it hosted Fifa's 2010 Soccer World Cup preliminary draw.

The murder of a former Austrian soccer professional has internationalised, once again, the spotlight on the high murder rate in South Africa.

Even though Fifa president Sepp Blatter did his utmost to downplay the impact of the murder by stating that murders occur worldwide, the international TV and press reported prominently that there were an average of 50 murders a day in South Africa. This is at least eight times higher than in those countries from which we hope to attract tourists.

The international media did state that South Africa intends deploying thousands of additional police in conjunction with the World Cup event, but asked whether such a short-term exercise would improve the endemic problem.

The negative image of South Africa will not improve if the authorities give verbal undertakings while statistics continue to show that murders continue to be perpetrated in conjunction with the intended robbery of a mobile telephone or other insignificant reason.

The authorities must take urgent, effective steps to address this endemic crime problem. We do not want South Africa to be projected as a basket case.

Valentin Volker,

Pietermaritzburg

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