Wednesday, January 13, 2010
The Real Cost of Crime
I heard yesterday that someone I have worked with at an Advertising Agency was killed last week in a crime related incident. Apparently it was a botched hijacking. Phumi was one of the brightest young people I've ever had the pleasure to deal with in my years in the industry. Phumi was intelligent, well-spoken, very, very professional and so obviously going on to great things in her life. She was a credit to herself, her Agency and South Africa. Her family must be devastated and heartbroken. The saddest thing about this is that her loss is not unusual in South Africa. We hear of lives being lost every day, it's people like Phumi who I believe are National Assets that are slipping through our fingers at the hands of ruthless criminals. We are losing our future to the mob and corruption seems to cut across bows of any attempt to police our society. I wish the authorities would stop visibly harassing, intimidating and subjecting the mostly law-abiding middle-class and move against the more serious violent crime. It's easy to bully the suburbians, but the 'Broken Window' campaign seems to only really be effective in a first world urban environment. South Africa seems more like the Wild West at the moment. Because the law enforcement agencies in South Africa don't deal with violent crime ruthlessly, petty criminals act with impunity and even the man on the street feels the 'right thing to do' is a waste of time.
The natural result of this is that we will not only have anarchy from both sides of society, we will lose those quality citizens who will make South Africa that nation with a soul that the rest of the world envys. That is the real cost of violent crime and government must not lose a moment to take our society back from the criminals and syndicates if it truly intends to build a great South Africa.