The South African government’s claim that it will establish 58 dedicated sexual offences courts, to be fully operational by September this year, appears to be untrue. No budget has been announced and there appears to be no clear framework for how the courts will operate.
South Africa’s police minister told parliament last week that civil damages claims totalling R7.1 billion were laid against the South African Police Service in the 2011 to 2012 financial year. In fact the closing balance of civil claims in March 2012 was more than twice that.
South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority routinely boasts remarkably high conviction rates. It uses them to reject criticism of its performance. But as it only prosecutes cases it is likely to win, they are unreliable measures of success in tackling crime.
A survey published this week claimed that a third of South African adults are regular drug users, dagga use has risen by 11% in the past year and the use of methamphetamines by a staggering 88%. While well-intentioned, the results of the survey are unrepresentative. More research – and more questioning by journalists – is needed.
All sides agree one thing: gun crime in South Africa is too high. But the white population of South Africa has no greater reason than others to fear gun crime, and evidence suggests that owning guns may not always make the owners, and their visitors, safer. It may do the reverse.
President Jacob Zuma gave the annual State of the Nation Address on Thursday night in Cape Town. We asked you to tell us which claims were the most significant and we fact-checked them. Some of them we are still checking. So how did he do?
The South African Council of Churches was wrong to claim last week, ahead of the latest horrific incident, that we can assume a link between the availability of pornography and the incidence of rape. No evidence of this exists. Other factors are the key to the high number of rapes.
Since strict gun controls came into force in 2004, gun crime in South Africa has fallen by more than 21 percent. Did the new controls cause the drop in gun crime as police claimed last week? Their data is inconclusive but cause of death figures from studies of mortuary statistics back their claim.