Columns 13.9.2018 08:15 am

We keep perpetuating crime by our silence

We know the perpetrators; they are our friends, we know them on a first-name basis – but we say and do nothing.

We are a nation under siege.

With the release of the crime statistics, one has to ask what are the contributing factors to the high and crippling crime?

The truth is the state of our socio-economic living is a major factor – the lack of resources and job opportunities and the ever-rising costs of living. These are the pull factors to a life of crime and until we address the socio-economic conditions, the status quo will remain.

My sympathy should not be mistaken for tolerance of wrongdoing. Perpetrators should face the full might of the law…

I have my own views on mob justice.

The criminals are people known in the community – there is nothing foreign about them within their community. We all know who they are and what they do. We all know who to go to when there has been a break-in at the local corner cafe, we know who might know who stole Sis’ Betty’s car tyres last night. Word on the street and the neighbourhood grapevine can give many insights.

But where was “word on the street” when unauthorised gun salutes pierced through song at a local funeral? Where was word on the street when the township air was drenched in the smell of an illegal substance that is not being used for medicinal purposes?

Word on the street went quiet when Stevovo was selling Gucci cologne for R100, even though we all clearly see the Edgars price sticker for R799.

But we all creep out of the woodwork to serve mob justice?

We know the perpetrators; they are our friends, we know them on a first name basis – but we say and do nothing.

We jump up and down protesting that the police do nothing – but what are we doing?

As I watched a video of mob justice in Eldorado Park, I had to wonder how many of the people who watched that beating know the culprits by name? Were they really total strangers?

The justice system we believe we are owed is one that must be free from the passion of compassion. And we desperately need a social system that will deter criminals from repeat crimes.

Kekeletso Nakeli-Dhliwayo.

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