A judge has sentenced a member of the gang that killed a prominent historian to 25 years in prison amid an escalating dispute about government attempts to tame high violent crime rates.
The Jan. 27 murder of David Rattray, an expert on the 19th century Anglo-Zulu wars who drew tourists from around the world to hear his colorful recountings, made headlines some feared would scare away the foreign visitors who are vital to plans to boost economic growth.
Some 50 people are murdered every day in South Africa, a country of about 46 million.
South Africa has gained notoriety as the crime capital of the world, although rates are falling.
There were 18,545 murders in 2005, down from 21,405 in 2001; and 20,553 attempted murders in 2005, down from 31,293 in 2001, according to police statistics.
President Thabo Mbeki in a television interview last month said there was no evidence that people thought crime was spinning out of control.
The opposition Democratic Alliance on Monday urged all South Africans to write to Mbeki before his State of the Nation address on Friday "to convince him that it is time to act on crime."
It also said it would introduce parliamentary questions on whether governing officials threatened to close government accounts with First National Bank to pressure it into withdrawing a planned anti-crime advertising blitz.
The bank shelved plans at the eleventh hour on Friday to distribute 1.5 million pamphlets and prepaid envelopes addressed to Mbeki asking him to do more on crime.
According to letters leaked to the Business Day newspaper, top executives from other corporations put pressure on the bank to scrap the campaign fearing it was too confrontational.
Corporate bosses have joined forces with the government in the Business Against Crime partnership, but this has done little to calm investors' jitters that crime is seriously impacting on business.
A senior official with Business Against Crime, Alan MacKenzie, was seriously wounded last week during an apparent attempted robbery at his sister's home on the eve of addressing a parliamentary committee.
On Monday, the chairman of accountancy firm Grant Thornton South Africa identified crime as the main reason that South Africa had fallen from third to seventh place in the company's survey of business optimism in 32 countries.
Leonard Brehm wrote that 84 percent of respondents reported that "they, their staff or families of staff have been affected by house break-in, hijacking, violent crime, road rage or similar crimes in the past year."
"This means that nearly every business of the 200 surveyed has experienced decreased productivity, creativity and motivation as a result of violent crime."
Rattray was well known on the international conference circuit for his vivid lectures from a Zulu perspective on the 1879 Anglo-Zulu war.
‘WITHIN SAFE LIMITS’: Hong Kong is to ask authorities in Guangdong for updates regarding the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant and inform the public of developments The Hong Kong government is closely watching a nearby Chinese nuclear power plant following a news report that it might be leaking, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥) said yesterday. The plant’s operators have released few details, but nuclear experts have said that based on their brief public statement, the facility might be suffering a leak of gas from fuel rods inside a reactor. Government data showed that radiation levels in Hong Kong were normal on Monday night, Lam said. Data from the Hong Kong Observatory showed radiation levels were still normal yesterday. A French company that helps manage the Taishan Nuclear
Until recently, the location of executed Japanese prime minister Hideki Tojo’s remains was one of World War II’s biggest mysteries in the nation he once led. Now, a Japanese university professor has revealed declassified US military documents that appear to hold the answer. The documents show the cremated ashes of Tojo, one of the masterminds of the Pearl Harbor attack, were scattered from a US Army aircraft over the Pacific Ocean about 50km east of Yokohama, Japan’s second-largest city. It was a tension-filled, highly secretive mission, with US officials taking extreme steps to keep Tojo’s remains, and those of six others executed
When COVID-19 arrived in India, few places looked as vulnerable as Mumbai. However, a year on, South Asia’s most crowded city has surprised many by tackling a vicious second wave of the virus with considerable success. Gaurav Awasthi even traveled hundreds of kilometers from his home on the outskirts of Delhi to get his ailing wife a hospital bed there, paying an ambulance more than US$1,000 to drive 24 hours straight. “I cannot ever repay my debt to this city,” the 29-year-old said, recounting an ordeal that saw him spend five days fruitlessly searching for a bed across several cities, including Delhi.
In India’s capital, New Delhi, thousands of commuters yesterday crowded into underground train stations and shopping malls, prompting some doctors to say that it could lead to a resurgence in COVID-19 infections. Major Indian cities have begun lifting strict lockdowns as the nationwide tally of new infections has dropped to its lowest level in more than two months. However, disease experts and doctors have cautioned that a race toward resuming business as usual would compromise vaccination efforts, as only about 5 percent of all 950 million eligible adults have been inoculated. Doctors have said New Delhi’s near-complete reopening is concerning. The city’s authorities