The state given a blank cheque to commit murders

"TWENTY robbers killed since last month", reported the front pages of our papers in celebratory tones.

"TWENTY robbers killed since last month", reported the front pages of our papers in celebratory tones.

The people who snatch your cellphone, break into your car and house to steal, or rape children and women, are not those being killed.

Crime within our communities is generated by socio-economic conditions and will never be defeated by gunning down alleged robbers.

The socio-economic conditions of black people are breeding criminals at an alarming rate. If you change these conditions, half the battle will be won. What is going on right now is a mass murder of black men in the name of fighting crime.

To achieve this, our general fear of crime is being exploited to give government carte blanche to execute people without a trial.

The trends that accompany these mass murders suggest that actually the police have taken seriously the skiet, skop en donder message of our new cowboy police chief seriously.

Of course, Commissioner Bheki Cele has been given his mandate by President Jacob Zuma to kill criminals. He is now cop, prosecutor, judge and executioner at the same time. Yet we are told we live in a constitutional liberal democracy where separation of powers is the main safeguard of people's rights against the tyranny of the state.

The bill of rights guarantees everybody the right to life. This right has now become a joke like most fundamental rights in the Constitution. The guardians of our freedoms have been regaling us with terrifying tales of how Cape Judge President John Hlophe is a threat to the judiciary and democracy.

But they have been silent on these extra judicial murders. This silence shows the hypocrisy of liberals and exposes the fascist elements of liberal democracy.

Black lives don't matter.

A disturbing trend has emerged over the last few years. If crime seems out of control, just go out and shoot a few black men in a very public way to assuage the fears of the terrified population.

Sometimes one gets the sense that such killings are also used to divert our attention from the real issues underlying crime.

It also serves as disguise against us asking questions around legalised criminal activity, such as legalised theft as in BEE deals and government tenders.

When the former chief of police Jackie Selebi was facing numerous allegations of criminal activity and the Polokwane ANC conference with all its political hazards, the police decided to give their chief a present.

They delivered 11 heads of black men on a silver platter. The media celebrated and the population felt safe for five minutes.

The real story of how those men were killed is still to be told. The police boasted that the so-called robbers didn't even have the time to be surprised. In other words, they were given no chance to surrender. The killing of six alleged robbers last week is even more sinister.

The media reported from the police point of view. Our journalists are embedded. The police issued conflicting statements about what happened, including an arrogant admission of murder.

Shooting fleeing people in the back is murder. The police plan seems to have been to kill instead of arresting the suspects. The media needs to be more critical and vigilant when reporting these state instituted murders. If we give the state a blank cheque to take lives, we must not cry when it kicks us in the teeth.