Crime column – By Stanford Slabbert - 12 January 2006
Date: Thursday, February 02 @ 02:23:26 SAST
Topic: Crime and the Police in PE
My wish for 2006 is that it will be a year of Happiness, Prosperity and Good
Health for all, and that the men and women of the SAPS will receive both the
logistical and moral support that they deserve. With the right backing, they can
attempt to curb our rising crime statistics.
Perusing the papers over the festive season, several stories highlighted the
fact that, for many, it was not a time of festivity and joy, but one of trauma,
horror, pain and death.
Road carnage, bus accidents, murders, rapes, and criminal activity, took up far
too much space in our daily papers, giving credence to the fact that we live in
a warped society.
It is a crime to see how badly people drive on the open road and over 1251 did
not reach their destinations, usually dying because of the mistakes of the other
driver. With a week to go before schools return, this figure will still rise.
Bus tragedies continue to haunt our country, and drivers and operators are
equally to blame. Two notable stories were both along the Garden Route. There
was the bus driver who evidently left his seat to get a cooldrink, leaving the
speeding bus on some type of “autopilot”, resulting in a crash and several
serious injuries. This driver must face the full consequences of his idiotic
Then there was the Translux driver reportedly cavorting with his girlfriend
whilst speeding on an overnight trip between East London and Cape Town.
Fortunately, these passengers reached their destination safely, although it was
reported as a trip “from hell”. If the allegations are true, this man should
never be allowed behind the wheel again. And on Sunday, yet another Translux
crash, outside J’Bay, resulting in three deaths. When will it stop!
Another tragic story was the Bus crash near Wepener, and then the mini-bus taxi
taking mourners to the funeral also crashing, killing some mourners. Are these
drivers qualified to be on our roads, let alone ferrying passengers whose lives
are put at risk.
Too many murders and too many rapes occurred during the past six weeks for us to
be able to say that we live in a normal society. It is sickening just how cheap
life has become in Africa and surely the death penalty must be reinstated to
help curb the horrific tales of murder and rape that are reported daily.
The gang rape of two young Jeffery’s Bay schoolgirls horrified everyone and the
perpetrators are still at large. Criminals don’t give a damn about Government
initiatives such as the recent 16 Days of activism against Women and Child
abuse. They do what they want, and some get caught, and then get bail, and carry
on with their horrendous crimes.
The murder of young Steven Siebert, 6, in Plett, is a direct result of
government’s lenient approach to such criminals. Evidently the perpetrator was
out on bail on child molestation charges, and he is a suspect in another child
murder case. Remember, too, that the government released hundreds of other
criminals just before Christmas, because jails were too full. How many of them
committed more crimes will never be known.
The Christmas eve murder of a patron outside Central nightclub, Here Groove
Lounge, must surely be a wake-up call to Metro officials to act against a club
that has for too long flouted just about every Municipal by-law, operating way
past the 2am deadline.
Consider, too, all those who arrived home after their vacations to find their
homes burgled and vandalized. For one South End resident it was twice in one
month that brazen criminals smashed their way in, and both times at midday.
A frightening holiday statistic will be to add the staggering road deaths to the
murders, rapes, drownings, assaults, robberies and burglaries. This total is a
staggering indictment of what should have been a joyful and peaceful time.
So was it really a great ending for 2005 and a festive start to 2006? For many,
the horror, the pain and the suffering will have made it a time best forgotten.
Hopefully the victims will get the support and care they deserve. It is hoped
that all the perpetrators will get what is due to them. The law must take its
course and communities must band together to ensure that criminals are brought
On a happier note, the Executive Committee of the Humewood CPF places on record
its grateful thanks to Graham Vass, Morne Coetzer, and the management team of
the Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World, for hosting the 27 on-duty members
of Humewood SAPS for Christmas lunch. It was a wonderful festive gesture that
helps build morale and goodwill and thanks those police staff who cannot spend
the special day with their loved ones.
Please keep that information coming. Your info is passed on to the relevant
officers and it all helps in the war against crime. Send emails to
StanfordSlabbert@telkomsa.net and faxes to 088 041 581 7390.
Remember, if every victim of crime reported their incident to the nearest police
station, our statistics will reflect the true crime situation in our area. This
will help to get more staff and more vehicles into our under resourced police
Crime tips for the week.
- Do not take valuables to the beach. When going for a swim, ask the person next
to you to keep an eye on your towel and belongings.
- Access control is only as effective as all residents make it.
- Crime does not only happen to “other people”. It is affecting everyone. You
might be next! Take precautions and be careful, 24/7/365.
This column is also featured every week in the Algoa Sun Community Newspaper