What a mess in fight over crime!

Twenty suspected cash-in-transit heist robbers were set free last week after their case was struck off the roll by the Mdantsane regional court.

Twenty suspected cash-in-transit heist robbers were set free last week after their case was struck off the roll by the Mdantsane regional court.

They each faced 10 charges, including conspiracy to murder and robbery, after they were arrested in a stakeout last February.

The fact that such potentially dangerous men have been allowed to roam our streets and probably continue with their deadly business brings into question, yet again, the commitment of the government to combating violent crime.

The men had to go because the hopelessly inadequate police forensic laboratory could not provide vital DNA evidence for almost a year.

Such failures make utter nonsense of the professed commitment by Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula and his cohorts to fighting violent crime.

Also, what should we make of President Thabo Mbeki's promise of decisive action against criminals in his state of the nation address last year, in the light of the Mdantsane fiasco?

Just how do Mbeki and Nqakula expect to be taken seriously when the good work done by the police to combat dangerous criminals continues to be undone by the police forensic laboratory? What a shame that we cannot ask the same of Jackie Selebi!

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