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Let's deny crime room to flourish

Let's deny crime room to flourish.
Let's deny crime room to flourish.

Some of the numbing numbers former statistician-general Pali Lehohla left behind when he went on retirement last year was that in the five years until the end of 2015, the assault and murder of women had risen by 31%. Adding that a woman dies every eight hours in South Africa by a current or former lover/husband.

The new shift, which we wonder if Lehohla's statistics managed to capture, is the rising trend of young men - still in their 20s - killing girlfriends they do not live with. After 27-year-old Sandile Mantsoe was sentenced to 32 years for killing Karabo Mokoena two weeks ago, Sowetan has reported on more femicide by his peers.

In KZN, Thabani Mzolo, 23, was arrested for the murder of his former girlfriend, while in Gauteng Lebohang Mofokeng, 29, was nabbed for killing his ex.

In Limpopo, 27-year-old Lesiba Motsai got angry with his girlfriend and killed their baby with a pick handle.

Lobby groups are adamant that only 20% of gender violence cases are reported in the media, which means the real picture is uglier than we can imagine.

But why?

Lehohla once said the drivers of contact violence included inequality, jealousy and financial matters - with anger, drugs and alcohol also playing a major role.

But that is not new. Apart from young killers entering the fray, these driving factors have always been there.

Another opinion is that the high murder rate of women is not increasing but constant, saying the only increased factor is the media coverage and public outrage.

It would appear SA has no clue what to do to fight this scourge.

Police Minister Bheki Cele, speaking at a remembrance gathering for Karabo Mokoena in Soweto last week, said the country needed a change of legislation to deal with femicide.

There is no additional law that can stop the murders. What SA needs is effective handling of crime and lawlessness, starting with street vice.

Let us see police take control of the streets from the ruffians. Let them make it difficult for people to even consider petty crime.

Once the right things are entrenched at these basic levels, law and order should escalate to bigger matters like the violence on women.

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