If it had not been for the national socioeconomic crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the emerging corruption scandals associated with funding for relief measures, there most likely would have been a public outcry following the release of the 2019/2020 crime statistics last week.
Those allegedly not complying with the Covid-19 emergency regulations have often been met with a stern, and, at times, violent responses from the state. Reports and video footage have been widely circulated on social media and news sites of security personnel shoving, slapping, humiliating, punching, kicking, sjambokking and even shooting supposed delinquents. Some people have died due to the (alleged) actions of these government officials.
Over the past decade a lethal mix of gangs and guns has caused a surge in the murder rate. SaVI Director, Dr Guy Lamb, comments on how Cape Town became a murder capital.
In February last year South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that his government would pursue five fundamental goals over the next decade. One of these was particularly bold, namely that
violent crime would be halved, if not eliminated.
This, according to Ramaphosa, would be achieved through improved policing, especially at the local level, and through addressing gender-based violence.