Martin Compart


Barlow spricht: by Martin Compart
19. Juli 2020, 2:27 pm
Filed under: Eeben Barlow, Politik & Geschichte | Schlagwörter:


(THIS IS NEITHER A MEDIA RELEASE NOR A POLITICIAL DEBATE)

One thing our country can shamefully boast about is the rampant and uncontrolled crime that has engulfed South Africa.
The perceived tyrannical policies and responses to countering the Covid-19 virus has devastated our economy, wrecked the business environment, and resulted in the loss of millions of jobs. It is a given that South Africa will experience a massive hike in crime as the ranks of the unemployed continue to grow on a daily basis.
What the disjointed policies and regulations did was expose the total lack of governance and leadership we are experiencing. Within this vacuum, crime has really made its mark felt.
Crime is not only restricted to the theft of basic commodities such as foodstuffs. The current lockdown has also opened a new window to new opportunities for institutionalised crime.
Armed robberies, ATM bombings, cash-in-transit heists, farm murders, and other violent crimes have an unprecedented impact on the economy, and society. The people who perpetrate these crimes are armed with assault rifles, explosives, cell phone jammers, radios, and other military-type equipment.
The scale of criminality we are experiencing cannot be fought with hashtags such as #blacklivesmatter, #whitelivesmatter, and #alllivesmatter, and other noble soundbytes. Plans without action, are useless.
Criminality does not distinguish between race or religion. To the criminals plaguing the country, no lives matter.

How South Africans currently perceive the law enforcement agencies’ action and reaction―or lack thereof―to countering crime, and in particular violent crime, is not a kind perception. Disarming law-abiding citizens to increase their vulnerability to violent crime is disconcerting in the extreme.
It is no secret that our Law Enforcement Pillar has been eroded to a point of near collapse. Police officers appear more concerned with eliciting bribes and enforcing lockdown rules than in countering crime. The lockdown rules have given criminals time and space to plan their next actions, in relative peace, as they are seemingly no longer on the police’s radar.
It is no secret that we have turned to China to help train our police officers―something that every South African ought to be very concerned about. I, for one, certainly don’t want to see Chinese nationals policing our country. Ironically, the media remains silent on this story. But that is a debate for another day.

It is also no secret that the current extremist-driven conflict in neighbouring Mozambique will spill-over into South Africa. Many Islamists from across Africa are already receiving training in South Africa―this is not a rumour but a fact. As the extremists have already threatened South Africa with retaliation if we get involved there, the apparent lackadaisical approach to countering this threat remains very disturbing.

With rampant domestic criminality, and violent neighbouring terrorism, many people are of the view that South Africa has already seen the arrival of domestic terrorism. Indeed, the statistics of people killed due to violent crime in South Africa exceed those of some countries engaged in all-out war―something else we remain silent about.

Whereas definitions of terrorism differ, it is commonly viewed as “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.”
The crime in South Africa is characterised by “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians…” but proof of the “pursuit of political aims” is, in my opinion, still absent.
But this begs the questions: Are we facing an unprecedented scale of a criminal insurgency? Or have we entered a phase of terrorism in South Africa? Are we faced with a criminal insurgency with elements of terrorism, or terrorism with elements of criminality?
Regardless of how we wish to view the unfolding violence, it is, again in my opinion, not rocket science to end it.

But it is apparent that our National Security Strategy―and in particular its implementation―has become lost in a sea of inability, and disjointed plans, policies and populism.
Unless an urgent assessment of the situation is done, and new plans and policies formulated, along with decisive action, we will become our own worst nightmare―a path we seem to be blindly following.
It will remain the responsibility of every citizen to protect him/herself, property, and loved ones against the wave of terror-inducing crime that threatens to swallow us, as no one else will.