Claims that white women are likely to be murdered by “unknown black males” amount to racial scare-mongering, writes Lisa Vetten. The vast majority of women who are murdered in South Africa die at the hands of their husbands, boyfriends and lovers.
South African musician Steve Hofmeyr has claimed that the number of white South Africans killed by blacks would fill a soccer stadium, that white Afrikaners are being killed “like flies” and that a white farmer is murdered every five days. But the claims are incorrect and grossly exaggerated. In fact, whites are less likely to be murdered than any other race group.
Last month South Africa’s Daily Maverick website published an article which claimed that “Al-Qaeda is alive and well in South Africa”. Was it the thorough “year-long investigation” it purported to be or a “cut-and-paste” smear? Yael Even Or and Camila Osorio of GroundUp.org.za consider the unanswered questions.
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.