Many of you have been talking about South African president Jacob Zuma’s move to let police shoot even if criminals haven’t fired first. We’ll be discussing this on tonight’s programme.
50 people a day are murdered in South Africa. Zuma told station commanders :
“We have an abnormal criminal problem, for that we have to explore extraordinary means”
Mr Zuma may have an eye on the upcoming World Cup in South Africa, but it’s sparked a debate on how to deal with serious crime.
Here’s a snapshot of the crime rate; As one South African newspaper put it : “the crimes you fear most are on the rise”
Some believe loosening restrictions on what many think is a trigger happy force will lead to chaos.
Bheki Cele , (right) the hardline new police commissioner wants a “shoot to kill” policy :
“Am I happy, no, I’m not happy. You cannot be happy when 10 people are killed let alone 18,000”
WHYS PRODUCER AMY ADDS …
South African broadcaster Lee Kasumba will be co-hosting tonight’s programme from Johannesburg. Joining her in the studio will be
Bernard Machakela from the South African Police Union. He’s had almost two decades’ experience as a service police officer, so he knows just how tough it can be on the ground. He told me that police in his country regularly face people with strong firearms and lots of weapons, and they need to be able to respond fully.
Here’s what some of you in South Africa have been saying, via the BBC website:
Andy in Johannesburg: I don’t believe that the police have adequate training to handle such authority and to make the correct choices when faced with a threat.
Peter in Cape Town: Violent crime will not be ended by redemptive violence but by adopting better solutions to the causes of crime in this country: poverty, racism, social injustice and the like.
Mathopa in Polokwane: The president is right. The police must shoot at criminals to protect law abiding citizens.
But you don’t have to be in South Africa to have a view on this.
Would you favour the same policy where you live? Do the police in your country have adequate powers to keep the peace? Does South Africa’s high crime rate justify a tougher police response than that in other – more peaceful – countries?