Sunday, February 04, 2007

Why is it fashionable to complain about crime only now?

Crime is a huge problem in South Africa and it has been been a huge problem for years. I have had family members hijacked, burgled, robbed at gunpoint (numerous times), tortured and killed, in the last 10 years.

Ordinary people have had to put up with crime for a long time, but the South African media seemed reluctant to move beyond merely reporting crime. Suddenly, though, along with big business, they seem to have found their voices, and are complaining that the government is failing in its most fundamental duty - to protect its citizens.

Is it because of the 2010 World Cup? Or is it the lame duck factor - with Mbeki's quasi-authoritarian reign coming to an end, are they less afraid of reprisals1 from the Great Denialist and his henchmen? What has emboldened the media and big business?

Note 1: Even though they were intimidated into dropping the anti-crime campaign, I doubt that FNB would have even contemplated such a campaign 2 years ago.