Letter - Your front-page lead story “Chatsworth Mourns” which appeared in Post dated May 30-June 3, 2018, refers.

The death of 9-year-old Sadia Sukhraj and blame for the criminality that is taking place in KwaZulu-Natal, especially in eThekwini, should be laid squarely at the foot of former president Jacob Zuma.

Read: Chatsworth Mourns

Zuma - in order to protect himself and the network that surrounded him - engineered the weakening, undermining and destruction of institutions such as Parliament, the police, the intelligence services and the National Prosecuting Authority, giving criminals free rein to wreak havoc.
Criminals have shown many times they do not fear the police or the public.

Our security establishment spent the past decade trying its best not to see the crime being committed against the South African state and its people.

The Zuma regime shredded the police and the justice department of some of its finest brains. Many top investigators and those who were right for promotions were either prodded to take early retirement or were booted out. 

They were replaced by a bunch of incompetents. Does the name Shaun Abrahams ring a bell?

During Zuma’s tenure, the cumulative effects of slap-dash investigations and the devil-may-care attitude in the police force brought this country to the verge of anarchy.

To exacerbate this situation, the wheels of justice wobble along and take an inordinately long time to begin the trial and mete out justice to guilty parties. 

Every attempt is made to find extenuating circumstances to blunt the edge of swift and retributive justice.

We are not going to deter criminals if we subject them to kid gloves treatment. If punishment has to be harsh, so be it.

It must also be noted - criminals who hijack vehicles are only the foot soldiers. The real villains are crime syndicates.

Since our intelligence services are dysfunctional, the crime syndicates are operating with impunity knowing that the chances of being caught are virtually zero.

Police Minister Bheki Cele and national police commissioner Khehla Sitole have a tough and envious task of bringing the state security agencies back to normality. But we are confident they will rise to the occasion.

In the meantime, the police and the National Prosecuting Authority need to do their job without fear or favour and to target their investigations not just on those who pull the trigger, but also the kingpins.

Unless this is done, crime syndicates will turn our country into killing fields.