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We shall no longer keep quiet
March against Violence
19 June 2012
Dear President Zuma
Today we have marched here in peaceful protest since we wish to alert you to the impact of violent crime in the lives of ordinary South Africans, and we demand that vigorous steps be taken by your government to root out this evil in our land.
South Africans live in fear because government has walked away from its primary duty to protect its citizens against violence and crime. Government’s efforts to eradicate this evil are negligible. It would appear to us that government simply lacks the political will to secure the safety of South Africa and all her peoples.
It may be that you find it hard to spot the grief, tears and blood of your countrymen from inside the safety of your armoured cars, or past the shoulders of your numerous bodyguards, or across your high security walls. Perhaps you got used to our violent situation and you are accepting it as part of everyday life. The glare of all those blue lights is possibly blinding you, or it could be that you yourself have never yet sacrificed a loved one to a brutal killing before your very eyes.
While our taxes pay for the safety of yourself and your colleagues, we have to pay in blood for the lack of security in our country.
- Over the past 18 years, at least 345 000 people have been murdered in South Africa.
- Almost half a million sexual crimes such as rape have been committed since 2003.
- Between 2003 and 2010 some 1 500 000 people were assaulted grievously.
- Murders in rural areas have caused the number of commercial farmers in South Africa to drop from 70 000 to fewer than 40 000. Thousands of people have been left jobless as a result.
During the Iraqi war, 116 000 civilians lost their lives. Three times that number have already been murdered in South Africa. It is therefore clear that criminal gangs have declared war against South Africans. If government found it possible to ensure our safety during the Soccer World Cup, surely it could also be done now?
How many five-month-old babies are yet to be strangled before you decide to act? And for how long are the Van Tonders and the Van der Merwes to be threatened by your own party members before you take steps? We want to know what your government is going to do to stop violent crime in South Africa!
In particular, we demand that the following be put in place:
- That the justice system be overhauled and governed efficiently. Those who belong behind bars get bail, or they get off scot-free because dockets disappear, or because investigations are performed poorly, or because those who are supposed to serve the cause of justice can be bribed.
- That criminals be sentenced to prison and that they stay there. How can criminals and law-abiding citizens take the government seriously when 37 783 criminals have been released earlier this year? When criminals have no fear of prosecution they will not stop their robbing, murdering and raping.
- That farm murders be classified as a priority crime. Is the fact that a farmer’s chance of being murdered in this country is higher than that of a police officer not proof enough? Farmers are being targeted as a group and government’s reluctance to acknowledge it only fuels the farm murderers on in their evil.
- That government honour its commitment and establish specialist units for rural safety. Crime has become rampant ever since the abolishment of the commando system. The State is legally and morally obliged to put a workable alternative in place.
- The time has come for government to act against corrupt and criminal police officials. Those corrupt civil servants are abusing the trust the public placed in them, and their penalty should be heavier than that of ordinary criminals. Ban corrupt police officials and civil servants from the civil service, and send them to jail; not to hospital.
- Make it possible for communities to ensure the safety of their own streets. Commanding officers deploy persons who are prepared to serve as police reservists far away from their own neighbourhoods, where they have to perform their duties under the most appalling of circumstances. As a result, these volunteers are no longer prepared to serve as reservists. Amend the SAPS Regulations to allow police reservists to have the choice of serving in their own neighbourhood only, and to decide themselves whether they want to serve outside their own neighbourhood.
- That you take steps against your party members who threaten South Africans with violence. We find Ronald Lamola’s comments and government’s silence in this regard unacceptable. In times during which farmers have live in fear for being killed on their own farms, your party’s youth league is inciting violence. A few hours after Lamola’s comments were made, the Muller family was attacked on their smallholding and their daughter, Arina, was shot dead. Statements by politicians influence the behaviour of ordinary people. Therefore, show us the same sensitivity in your statements than what you are expecting with regard to The Spear painting.
Crime is an epidemic that has become rampant in our country because government is neglecting its duty to maintain law and order. South Africa has become a man-made disaster area; a place where criminals can move around freely and where we are hostages in our own homes. We mourn everyone who has had to sacrifice his/her life, has had to surrender his/her innocence, and whose body and spirit were broken because those who are supposed to protect them are focusing rather on faction fighting, tenders, or trying to cover up their own malpractices.
To date, government’s silence and lack of action constitute the single most important reason why our country has turned into a criminal paradise. He who helps the guilty one shares in the crime.
In terms of Section 11 of the Constitution everyone has the right to life, which means it is government’s duty to protect this right. For this reason we demand that you reply to this memorandum and the demands contained therein by 31 July 2012. We ask of the President to make it clear to us what his government will do to comply with its constitutional, political and moral duty to the country.
Bobby and Karlien van Jaarsveld
Cell: e-mail:082 907 5203
Cornelius Jansen van Rensburg
Tel: 086 10 200 30
Memo sourced from: www.afriforum.co.za (MSWord Doc 32.0 kB)
Here is a shorter (31 sec) clip of footage not included in the above video.
This version shows some closer views of the various slogans on posters.
(HD Link is here)