Monday, September 17, 2012

ISS: SA loses R30bn a year to corruption

ISS: SA loses R30bn a year to corruption
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa will release the national crime statistics on 20 September 2012.
Catherine Rice
18 September 2012

CAPE TOWN - The Institute for Security Studies said on Monday corruption has emerged as a major threat to South Africa.

Just over R30 billion is stolen annually via corruption.

However, this will not be reflected in national crime figures due to be released on Thursday.

The statistics are from the previous financial year and reflect broad trends rather than current emerging threats.

The Institute's Gareth Newham said, “Some statistics that will be released on Thursday are already outdated by six months, and every month after that they are another month out of date. So, the latest crime stats that South Africans have available to them could be outdated by 18 months.”

He said there has been a 25 percent reduction in crime over the past decade.

Although there are nearly 16,000 murders a year in South Africa, it hides the kind of murders we should be worried about, for example; the gross murders relating to farm killings or the gross murders relating to public violence, such as vigilantism.”

Newham said the crime statistics will also not paint a clearer picture of just how much public violence was impacting the country.

“Although the statistics are useful over big broad trends over time, they do have the consequence of hiding major security threats. I think one area is the rise of public violence which has exploded since 2009.”

Newham said public violence is an emerging trend.

“We now have an average of five violent incidents in South Africa every two days. Communities get together and protests, largely against the collapse or the failure of local government services.”

He said when police are called out to deal with protesters it alienates them and makes community members less likely to report crime in the future.

He said he is not expecting any major shifts, but predicts there will be an increase in business robberies.

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)

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