Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 42

Thread: The Great Crime Debate

  1. #1
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    2,642
    Thanks
    119
    Thanked 94 Times in 77 Posts

    Exclamation The Great Crime Debate

    If you haven't heard anything about the "issue" of crime in South Africa over the past week then I'd like to know which hole you've had your head in...

    It seems that the death of David Rattray, the AU's peer review report, and Mbeki, Selebi, Mdladlana and Ngkula's comments have stirred up a lot of unrest in South Africa (other than people living in fear that is...)

    I'm always asking myself why crime is so violent in SA - why do so many people get killed over cellphones/wallets/etc? I really don't understand it. I wonder if it is related to how much the perpetrator values their own life.

    Alec Hogg of Moneyweb has a story from Davos where he speaks about the impact of organised crime in SA, namely wrt smuggling,

    It’s clear, for starters, that South Africa is a key nexus in the global supply chain of a trillion dollar plus industry. SA's particular attraction to the world crime syndicates is its supplies of illicit precious stones, rare minerals and marijuana from the continental hinterland.
    Key to all of this is the setup of efficient supply chains.

    Once the supply chain is in place, various “products” can and are channeled through this distribution network, multiplying the profit. So although a supply chain might have been set up for illicit cigarettes, it can also be used for human trafficking or hard drugs.
    I also didn't realise that pirating DVD's is more lucrative than selling cocaine.

    Particularly lucrative products for these criminal networks are illicit cigarettes (as half the cost of legal smokes is tax) and pirated DVD movies, where profit margins are massive. As one of the panellists pointed out, the profit on one kg of illegal DVDs is three times that of cocaine – and the punishment, should the pusher be arrested, incomparably light.
    So a supply chain implies a few things,

    1. Customers/demand - you/me/others are buying products (cigarettes, DVDs, drugs, etc.)
    2. Retailers - there is someone selling it, taking their cut
    3. Distributors - the smuggling part of this
    4. Manufacturers - some one is producing because there is a lucrative market


    So there are a couple of options which are basically to break that chain somewhere. So here is something to think about before you buy/pirate/etc.

    Otherwise law abiding citizens are fuelling the supply chain every time they buy anything form pirated DVDs and tax-free cigarettes to cheap clothing. They don’t seem to think twice about where they come from and are clearly not making the connection between a global network of sin and its side effect of violent crime.
    Another aspect is that there seems to be a high tolerance of the sales of certain illicit materials,

    Motorists are virtually mobbed at traffic lights by illegal DVD hawkers; East European sex workers are in abundance at “lap dancing” clubs; designer label knock-offs are openly sold by street traders; “cheap” cigarettes can be bought in public areas; and it’s easier for a school kid to secure a joint of marijuana than a bottle of beer.
    Where are the police in all of this? Can a "no broken windows" approach work? How would that impact our economy?

    Obviously a large part of the issue is corruption, which Vietnam seems to have taken quite seriously....

    As the Vietnamese prime minister told me earlier in the day, his country only started to win the war against crime after it introduced harsh penalties, including the death sentence, for corrupt officials. Supported by a system of promotions for public servants who identify those accepting bribes.
    So there is my bunch of random thoughts largely based on Alec Hoggs article, "Criminal tentacles sucking SA" (all the quotes are from that article).

    Let's talk about this a bit, we really need to resolve this and the way to win the war is a multipronged approach - from grassroots level up to policy makers, we all need to buy into a better way of life for ourselves.
    [SIGPIC]Engineer Simplicity[/SIGPIC]
    Turn ideas into products | The Art of Engineering blog

  2. #2
    Silver Member Graeme's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    253
    Thanks
    73
    Thanked 19 Times in 18 Posts

    Crime

    During the "struggle" the huddled masses were taught that "liberation before education" was what counted - quite OK to burn down a school. Some learned how to rob banks to raise funds for the cause. Others learned how to kill policemen (lost a nephew like that). Only when that generation dies out will civilisation return to our beloved country.

  3. #3
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,944
    Thanks
    3,054
    Thanked 2,458 Times in 2,064 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by dsd View Post
    If you haven't heard anything about the "issue" of crime in South Africa over the past week then I'd like to know which hole you've had your head in...
    Guilty. In Cape Town on holiday. Before that slogging at work so that I could go on holiday. After that slogging at work paying penance for said holiday. So please forgive me.

    The only headline that really raised any real conscious thought was one in the Cape Times saying that crime had halved in the last decade. I'll spare you the exact conscious thought, save that this was sufficient evidence to me that I should not read that paper if my hard-fought-for sense of equilibrium was to remain intact. After that, crime related matters that came to my attention were easily dealt with.

    Like the sign advising hikers through Kirstenbosch not to take valuables with them as muggers were about...
    The oh so tough yet skillfully disguised burglar guards on the windows of the residences I frequented...
    The car guard/attendant in a two piece suit at the church for the Saturday wedding...
    The car guard/attendant in the green liveried waistcoat at a shopping mall in Constantia (a particularly nice touch, I thought)...

    Obviously the police force in Cape Town are all plain clothes policemen and women, because I don't recall seeing one.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  4. #4
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,944
    Thanks
    3,054
    Thanked 2,458 Times in 2,064 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    I see the David Rattray murder now seems to be a "robbery gone wrong." So why murder the guy if the intention was robbery?

    The "crime is driven be poverty/need" theory gets blown out the window when it comes to murder. You don't need to kill people to put food on the table. For me there is a huge gap between breaking in and stealing clothes, food, valuables (not good) and callously shooting and re-shooting to make sure the victim is dead (really really bad). And yet for some it seems there is no real difference.

    It is high time that the society sends a clear message that there is a huge difference between robbery and murder. We need to stop robbers from murdering - period.

    Of course, while they're about it, it would be nice if the stopped robbers too...

    ps. @President Thabo Mbeki - I think we have a problem.
    Last edited by Dave A; 01-Feb-07 at 07:22 AM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  5. #5
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,944
    Thanks
    3,054
    Thanked 2,458 Times in 2,064 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    As I said earlier, I never read that story saying crime had halved in the last ten years. But this story seems to give the lie to that little piece:

    Crime statistics show that nearly 2,5-million people were victims of violent crime in the past three years and a recent study also showed a probability that more than 90% of people will fall victim to crime in South Africa.

    "The statistics confirmed that the government has already lost the struggle against crime and it does not have the political will to accept that crime is a greater threat to our society," Van der Schyf said.

    Last month, in an interview with the South African Broadcasting Corporation, President Thabo Mbeki said most South Africans would agree with him that it was a perception that crime was out of control. "There is crime, but this does not mean it is out of control," he said.

    On Friday, Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon said 98% of South Africans felt the president's attitude towards crime is mistaken. Writing in his weekly letter, Leon was referring to an e.tv poll that followed Mbeki's comments; the poll asked: "Is crime out of control in South Africa?", to which 98% of respondents answered "yes".

    "With regard to the devastating spiral of violent crime, my tip for Mr Mbeki is that he frankly admit the urgency of the crisis," said Leon.

    Also last month, the biannual Government Performance Barometer report published by the Markinor research company, affirmed the view that South Africans were increasingly pessimistic about crime, with just 40% of respondents feeling that government is doing enough to rectify the situation.

    An African Union report of good governance also warned South Africa about growing levels of violent crime, which are undermining confidence in the country.
    Also from the same story:
    The National Civil Safety and Security Action (Nacissa) has asked how government and the ruling party can promote a better life for all if crime is out of control.

    "We are not against strategies that the government has put in place; we are here to assist," Nacissa chief executive Ockie van der Schyf said in Pretoria on Friday. He was addressing the launch of Nacissa, which aims to unite civil society against crime.

    Last week the ruling African National Congress (ANC) urged South Africans to "not become spectators" in the fight against crime, calling for the full participation of the public.

    ANC spokesperson Smuts Ngonyama said the ANC plans to launch a mass-mobilisation campaign to ensure community involvement in the building of safer and more stable communities. He said the campaign will focus on the "reinvigoration of community policing forums as effective and credible sites for coordination, monitoring and popular participation".
    full story from M&G here
    The ANC party seems to see a different picture from "All is well" President Thabo Mbeki. Perhaps it's the bodyguards that make the difference.

    In other news, FNB has cancelled their planned anti-crime campaign:
    First National Bank has cancelled its anti-crime initiative which was designed to encourage President Thabo Mbeki to make crime his priority, the early edition of the Sunday Times reported on Saturday evening.

    According to the newspaper First Rand bank chief executive Paul Harris and his executive team pulled out of the R20-million campaign at 3.30pm on Friday. The print, radio and television adverts highlighting the campaigns were canned by management.

    Also on Friday, after hearing of the campaign, officials from the Presidency and the government's security cluster met with the bank's managment.

    Harris refused to comment on who he had met with from the Presidency but when asked if he had discussed the campaign with the government on Friday he said: "I don't want to talk about who we spoke to other than to say it was a broad range of stakeholders -- all people that we felt could in some way be impacted on this."

    Government spokesperson Themba Maseko said the campaign was a form of incitement against Mbeki.

    "Positioning themselves as an opposition party is not appropriate ... Trying to incite people to behave in a certain way towards the head of state cannot be condoned," he said.

    As a component of the campaign, the bank had commissioned 2,8-million pamphlets with a patriotic message about crime. On each was an envelope addressed to the president with the postage already paid.
    from M&G here
    What a bonus - they get the publicity boost and don't need to spend the money.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  6. #6
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,944
    Thanks
    3,054
    Thanked 2,458 Times in 2,064 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    I see in the Sunday Times report, FNB has already incurred the cost.

    The pamhlet text intended for distribution can be read here, although who knows for how long.

    Quite punchy in parts.

    Interesting twist - business against crime groups accusing FNB of being opportunistic.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  7. #7
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    2,642
    Thanks
    119
    Thanked 94 Times in 77 Posts

    Wink

    I think Stephan Francis and Rico have finally figured it out. Check out what they think of Thabo's comments.
    [SIGPIC]Engineer Simplicity[/SIGPIC]
    Turn ideas into products | The Art of Engineering blog

  8. #8
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    2,642
    Thanks
    119
    Thanked 94 Times in 77 Posts
    On a more serious note, the M&G online ran an article, "Thabo Mbeki's new age of denial?" on Friday last week. I think Aubrey Matshiqi hit the nail on the head with this comment,

    “What the president is unaware of is steady convergence of opinion on crime, particularly since the Jeppestown shootings last year. Crime is becoming increasingly deracialised as more people become angry over its effects,” said Matshiqi. “It seems to me the president feels that the perceptions of increasing crime are incorrect as viewed against the information he has. But that is significant only for debate.

    “The reality is that the levels of crime in this country are unacceptably high. That is what the president should be focusing on; giving leadership instead of winning narrow points.”
    It seems that Thabo wants to argue the finer details of the issue, rather than look at the sweeping implications. It is great that crime has fallen (which looks great statistically), but if you look at the absolute levels, it is still not acceptable (see this Zapiro).

    Mbeki is doing a fine impersonation of Queen Elizabeth (as played by Helen Mirren in the movie, The Queen). He is sticking to the technical detail of the fight against crime and refusing to recognise the fear gripping his nation. This is similar to the way in which the queen completely misjudged the mood of her people after the death of Princess Diana.
    I do feel that Mbeki is not in touch with what people are saying and feeling. No about of chit-chat will change that. People actually need to start feeling safe before the rhetoric will have any impact.
    [SIGPIC]Engineer Simplicity[/SIGPIC]
    Turn ideas into products | The Art of Engineering blog

  9. #9
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,944
    Thanks
    3,054
    Thanked 2,458 Times in 2,064 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    I'd have a lot more faith in statements that crime stats have improved if we did not have these selective releases. If the stats will show that our perception of crime levels is not justified - just release all the stats.

    This embargo on crime stats just seems to indicate that there is something to hide.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  10. #10
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    2,642
    Thanks
    119
    Thanked 94 Times in 77 Posts
    So here is my question for the day: why is crime so violent in South Africa?

    I don't really buy into what Graeme is saying. I think the population that commits crime is a small percentage of the general population (I could be wrong). If everyone had that mindset we would have a much larger problem on our hands (country would have crumbled long ago). Also, it is pretty much a racial classification, and I'm pretty wary of those - too many broad generalisations.
    [SIGPIC]Engineer Simplicity[/SIGPIC]
    Turn ideas into products | The Art of Engineering blog

Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. More violence in crime.
    By I Robot in forum General Business Forum
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 08-Apr-07, 04:24 AM
  2. Great RSS feeds
    By Dave A in forum General Business Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 13-Jan-07, 04:09 PM
  3. Why today is going to be a great day!
    By Dave A in forum General Chat Forum
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 21-Nov-06, 10:32 AM
  4. The Economic Consequences of Crime
    By duncan drennan in forum General Business Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 16-Sep-06, 11:24 AM

Tags for this Thread

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •