Crime is a reality in our society. There are many reasons for this, but whatever the case, it is unacceptable that so many South Africans lose their lives and/or property on a daily basis.
According to the latest crime statistics, 19000 people were murdered between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017. That’s over 52 people every day.
In terms of car-jackings, almost 17000 cases were reported during the same period. It works out to almost 46 cars each and every day.
Given that there has been no dramatic reduction in our crime rate, we can reasonably expect that these figures hold true today.
However, we must guard against turning crime into an issue of race.
Last week, several posts emerged on social media claiming Indian South Africans were being targeted by criminals. However, there is no evidence to support this allegation.
Similarly, there is no evidence to support claims from groups like AfriForum that there is an orchestrated plan to kill all white farmers in South Africa.
The reality is that, according to the crime stats, black South Africans are more likely to be murdered than any other race group.
The KwaZulu-Natal police stations that recorded the highest numbers of murders during the last reporting period were not Chatsworth, Sydenham, Umhlanga or Westville, but Inanda, Umlazi and KwaMashu.
In terms of hijackings, at the last count, Gauteng and the Western Cape were the hijacking hotspots in our country.
According to the crime stats, only one station in KZN, Pinetown, was listed in the top 10 car-jacking hotspots.
This is not to say that any life is cheap; every life lost is unacceptable, but we must guard against fuelling racial tension.
In the fight against crime, it is the good guys against the bad guys. The good guys come from all race groups. All language groups. And all religions. The same is true of the bad guys.
So, let us not make this a race issue. We are dealing with a crime problem and the good guys, all of them, need to come together to defeat this scourge.