Calls for action to curb PMB's 'epidemic of violence'

2015-09-02 12:36
A breakdown of the crime statistics in Pietermaritzburg for the month of August. (Graphics24)

A breakdown of the crime statistics in Pietermaritzburg for the month of August. (Graphics24)

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Durban - The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal has called for the root cause of the “epidemic of violence” besetting Pietermaritzburg to be addressed.

The party, through MPL Rishigen Viranna, called for a combined meeting of KwaZulu-Natal's social development and community safety and liaison departments after leaked crime statistics for the provincial capital were released to the media.

On Tuesday, KwaZulu-Natal's safety MEC, Willies Mchunu, also said the increased level of crime in Pietermaritzburg in August was of "grave concern".

Mchunu urged law enforcement agencies to work with all sectors of the community to turn the situation around.

The statistics revealed there were about 60 reported cases - including murders, assaults, sexual assault and rape - in the month of August.

Viranna said the statistics, which came almost a month before the official release of national police crime figures, painted a grim picture.

“This speaks volumes about the society we live in. It also highlights the shocking social conditions so many are exposed to. At the heart of the problem lies society’s degradation to what must be an all-time low,” he said.

“It is nationally and internationally well-researched that interpersonal violent crime levels are high in areas where the poor and vulnerable lack social opportunities,” he added.

Viranna said a combination of abject poverty and a broken justice system had hamstrung progress in South Africa as a whole, with Pietermaritzburg becoming a microcosm of this.

“Central to empowering South Africans is access to opportunity. This requires a system of social security to protect them from extreme poverty and a functional criminal system to keep people safe.

"The people of KZN are being let down on both these counts,” he said. 

Read more on:    da  |  willies mchunu  |  pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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