Tuesday, May 22, 2007

South Africa's murder rate was eight times the world average, and 50 of its citizens were murdered every day

Mail&Guardian:

The impact of violent crime on South Africans may well equal that of the evils of apartheid at its height, MPs heard on Tuesday.

In a fiery speech delivered during debate on the safety and security budget vote in the National Assembly, Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard noted South Africa's murder rate was eight times the world average, and 50 of its citizens were murdered every day.

"The long-term impact of such crimes, coupled with the hijackings, tortures, rapes, robberies and general physical attacks will warp our evolution as human beings for decades to come," she warned.

Attacking the government's handling of violent crime, she said the African National Congress (ANC) had maintained a "denialist attitude" towards its extent.

"And, indeed, of the fact that the physical and psychological impact of this reign of terror may even equal that of the evils of apartheid at its height."

Kohler-Barnard said while the crime rate might be declining in a few categories, the overall rate was utterly unacceptable.

"As a result, the fears, concerns and perceptions people have about crime are worsening because there are so few South Africans left who can claim never to have fallen victim to the criminal hoards."

"This nation is being brought to its knees by severe post-traumatic stress as a result of both first- and second-hand experiences of the most horrific sort."

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