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Now that you've been primed - a major step has been taken by the ANC government. Calculated to coincide with figures relating to the 'decrease' in crime figures, comes new legislation on the ownership of firearms.

First we need to understand some facts before looking at the 'released' figures on crime in South Africa -

How can we believe any of the figures if government prohibited the release of these same figures for so long? We have nothing to compare these figures to but are led to believe that government won't 'bull' us with their figures. I don't care who says what, how do you believe a government who produces such excellent examples of good governance in Tony Yengeni (arms deal corruption), Thabo Mbeki (the Zimbabwe issue), Alan Boesak (stealing from foreign donors), Winnie Mandela (name it, she's guilty of it - or just about), the Health Minister for letting thousands die of HIV/Aids whilst government officials are on retrovirals, and last but not least the Zuma / Maharaj accusations of a comrade being a spy when the potato gets too hot, to name but a few? Would you believe these people?

Say government produces some past figures which resembles more or less what is generally accepted as a close representation, what does the new figures really tell us? Here are some facts (according to government) printed by the Sunday Times Metro section. You make up your mind -

Jo'burg's murder rate is down by 2% (yippee). Considering that during the same period (April 2002 to March 2003) another half-million people probably moved into the area. That's an interesting point? If Jo'burg had half a million people and 10% got murdered, how much is 10% of a million people? Get my drift?

Certain areas had a major increase though. The East Rand and Pretoria had a 4% increase in murders over the same period. Car hijackings increased by 12% in Jo'burg, armed robberies are up 20% (in Douglasdale), child abuse has dropped by 10% in Soweto, so has hijackings (23%). Note how certain areas are higher / lower. Any idea why that might be? In spite of claiming that the West and North Rand with the Vaal is the least 'crime-ridden' areas, murders are up 18% in the Vaal with an 11% increase in attempted murder cases, armed robbery by 14%, child abuse by 90% and hijackings by 21%.

The West Rand had an 11% increase in murders, 6% in hijackings and 321% in child abuse! Are more people reporting cases? Are people starting to trust our police force? Are people killing off suspected rapists, robbers and killers by themselves? Are our courts actually doing their jobs in removing the culprits from society? Have another look at the picture I published here last week for a quick Gauteng rundown.

From what we see in our newspapers the South African people has finally realised that enough is enough. The past two weeks people close to me got affected by our spiraling crime rate. Don't tell me that because the national figures are down, the cops are winning the war! Out of a needed 150 000 active cops at any stage, we only have a 104 000. Agreed that more pro-active policing has made a difference (a major difference in most cases), the courts and jails cannot claim the same contribution to society.

How many more criminals are out there in twelve months' time? Can anyone really say? How many criminal acts are actually reported? Can anyone really say? How many of those 'lesser-crime' criminals that get released every year return to crime full time? Can anyone really say? Does government really have a handle on things related to the safety of their citizens? No.

The negatives in these figures far outweigh most positives (of which there are plenty - believe me). 'Maar my gat se deksel is', this is beyond most reasonably thinking people, why does government insist on hammering the law-abiding citizen? The person who slips up once to pay his TV license gets summonsed immediately, the odd traffic offence you get nailed to the absolute ridiculous, the taxman sucks you dry and from the broadside tollgates take whatever 'extra' spending money you were hoping for while going on a much deserved holiday (which most of us plebs can only afford once every three years). I won't go into petty laws which never gets enforced (or hardly ever) such as the smoking bans, driving with a roadworthy vehicle, stopping at red traffic lights and / or stop streets, etc. etc.

Now of course they need to take away our right to personal protection. But more on that next week!

Some good starting points - a good organisation to join now (if you haven't yet) And check up on the new legislation at

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