Why a failing police force has created an 'open season' for criminality in SA

| Lester Kiewit speaks to Master of Arts degree in Conflict, Security and Development holder at the School of Global Studies in Sussex University, Ziyanda Stuurman, about SA's criminality crisis in the wake of the string of mass shootings plaguing the country.

South Africa is one of the most violent countries in the world with an average of 21,000 murder cases being reported per year alone.

This has understandably left South Africans living in a constant state of duress over the rampant criminality in the country, something that has worsened in the past few weeks with the string of mass shootings being reported.

Master of Arts degree holder in Conflict, Security and Development, Ziyanda Stuurman, says that though there has not necessarily been an increase in the amount of violent crimes committed in the country, South Africa is living in a pressure cooker situation stemming from the nature of the crimes making headlines and the increase in media coverage for these crimes.

This indicates a much larger issue than just statistics, with these mass shootings targeting small businesses, such as taverns, making the country come to grips with the confluence of not only organised crime, but with violent crimes in general.

Minster of Police Bheki Cele isn't helping matters either.

Stuurman says that Cele is more interested in the politics of policing and not the policy work of policing, where she highlights that the internal and external issues within the police sends a signal to criminals that crime in the country is in "open season."

That sends a signal to criminals that we have a police service, in general, that's really struggling to grapple with many, many issues both internally and externally and is, therefore, not fit for the job of securing lives and property in the country.

Ziyanda Stuurman, Master of Arts degree in Conflict, Security and Development

These issues has forced civil society to force police forces to redistribute its resources from affluent suburban affluent to less affluent township areas - indicative of a country whose civilians need to tell authorities how to do their jobs.

The blatant lack of resources has, thus, aided to the complexity of crime-related issues South Africans are forced to bear the brunt of, with Stuurman saying that our weak crime intelligence structure and the over 1, 3000 vacant detective posts creating an atmosphere of impunity for criminals.

We're dealing with a complexity of issues all at once and, as you say, all of that compounds to create an atmosphere of impunity for criminals who absolutely feel like the police cannot do their job and, so, therefore, what stops them from going out and committing crimes?

Ziyanda Stuurman, Master of Arts degree in Conflict, Security and Development

Ziyanda Stuurman is the author of Can We Be Safe?

Listen to the full interview above.

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Why a failing police force has created an 'open season' for criminality in SA

More in Multimedia