According to our minister of police, Bheki Cele, South Africa has not reached a state of lawlessness, nor will we.
When first reading this ludicrous proclamation, all I could do was sit in my chair and wonder if perhaps Mr Cele was reporting on the crime statistics of the same South Africa, the rest of us call home.
It didn’t take long to dawn on me, that it was wishful thinking.
Now, to put things in perspective, if we are rating the seriousness of crimes and placing the most serious acts at the top, murder always takes top priority. Fifty seven (57) people are murdered in South Africa EVERY DAY.
It’s hard to fathom really, but to give you an idea of how insane that figure is - picture a bus carrying 57 people, driving off a cliff each and every day. War torn countries have fewer fatalities than South Africa does annually.
Now, if that isn’t enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end, the murder rate obviously doesn’t include attempted murders or other forms of intended grievous bodily harm.
Other statistics that beggars belief are the cases of rape (the ones that are reported), hi-jackings, home invasions, assault, theft, cash in transit heists, vandalism, looting, corruption, domestic violence and the list just continues.
To say that South Africa has not reached a state of lawlessness is an insult to every citizen in our country, a serious betrayal to all those who have been victims of crime either directly or indirectly and a scandalous downplay of the situation we find ourselves in.
The brazen manner in which Mr Cele announced this statement is proof that our ministers and high-ranking government officials are completely out of touch with the people they are meant to serve.
As an ordinary member of society, we are not able to afford personal body guards, motorcades that drive dangerously often breaking the law to transport the self-important official inside a luxurious sedan, or live in a compound with state of the art security systems.
If our own government is unable to admit that we have a crisis on our hands when it comes to crime in South Africa, then I’m afraid that we have very little hope for what lies ahead. With our economy dwindling day by day and the unemployment rate soaring to record highs, it only makes sense that more people will resort to crime in order to survive.
So, we’re left with two possible explanations why Minister Cele would make such an unsubstantiated statement; either our government acknowledges that crime is out of control and it is too scared to admit it, or they have convinced themselves of their own lie and are in serious, serious denial.
Either way, we are statistics waiting to happen and already victims of denial.