Hypocrisy over crime in SA

ON JUNE 24 Zukile Majova wrote an article titled "It's time to praise our City of Gold".

ON JUNE 24 Zukile Majova wrote an article titled "It's time to praise our City of Gold".

The essence of the article was that the crime situation in the country was being exaggerated.

He quoted Jeremy Clarkson, a British journalist who had written an article in the Sunday Times of London about crime or the perception of crime in Johannesburg.

Clarkson said Johannesburg has a fearsome global reputation for being utterly terrifying and lawless . But having spent a bit of time here he had concluded that that was all nonsense.

According to Majova, Clarkson had strong words for locals who run around creating a negative reputation for what is one of the friendliest cities on the globe.

Majova said the Johannesburg Clarkson described for London readers was the city that had been his home for the past four years - and not once had he been robbed or threatened.

Last week Edward Tsumele wrote a piece about Isha Sesay, a CNN journalist who was in the country to host the CNN MultiChoice Africa Journalist Awards.

In that piece Sesay is quoted as saying that crime in South Africa seems to be exaggerated.

After Majova's article I waited with bated breath for someone to point out that he is in denial. With no one having come forward to dispute what he said, I will assume he spoke the truth.

Now, I can't help remembering that in January 2007 former president Thabo Mbeki was asked about crime in an SABC interview.

He admitted the damage crime was causing to the country's image but he said it was wrong to suggest crime was out of control.

For that he was said to be in denial and unsympathetic to victims of crime. Can someone tell me what is different between what Mbeki said and what the journalists are saying?

Why the hypocrisy?

Siyabonga Keka, Johannesburg