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Clamp down on crime in Dr Koboka’s honour

Khumbuzile Molabo and Pixie Jafta laying wreaths at Dr George Koboka’s surgery where he was shot in Diepkloof, Soweto on Friday afternoon.
Khumbuzile Molabo and Pixie Jafta laying wreaths at Dr George Koboka’s surgery where he was shot in Diepkloof, Soweto on Friday afternoon.
Image: Thulani Mbele

The senseless killing of Dr George Koboka has ripped the hearts of many in his community apart after he was shot in cold blood at his consulting rooms on Friday.

His murder has been met with outrage and widespread condemnation beyond his community of Diepkloof Zone 5 in Soweto, where he had dedicated his life to serving the people he would sometimes treat free of charge. As the news of his passing rippled through at the weekend, heartfelt tributes came pouring in from close friends, colleagues and family describing him as a “true servant of the people”. 

Now that he has become a statistic in our cycle of violent crime that continues to rob families and society, who is going to replace his dedication to his patients? How could those in the same community he served repay his dedication in such a manner? There can be no quick answers to these questions about his deplorable killing but they should serve as a reminder that no one is safe from the wave of crime, which has taken hold of the country.

Dr Koboka’s killing also highlights the low value criminals place on human life.

According to police, more than four armed men entered Koboka’s surgery and proceeded to his consulting room, where they allegedly shot him as patients – including mothers with children – waited outside in the corridor. Reports further indicate that this was not the first time his practice had fallen prey to crime after patients were robbed of their cellphones while waiting to consult a week ago. 

Police acted swiftly and arrested three men hours after Dr Koboka’s brutal murder but until these criminals are convicted and sentenced his family will continue to live with the kind of pain that cannot be imagined. The increasing levels of crime have been allowed to fester in our society for far too long and only lead to more senseless death and pain.

Last year this newspaper reported how medical centres in Soweto were being increasingly targeted by criminals who swooped on doctors, patients and employees, holding them hostage before making off with cash and cellphones.

In Dr Koboka’s memory, authorities should choose a different path of fighting crime by ensuring that the safety of all citizens is the priority.

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