It is obvious that South Africa is in the grips of a crime epidemic that could be described as a sort of terrorism. The recent headline of the rape of a 9-month baby is indicative of a society in a crisis.

A month ago in Walmer Estate, a shopkeeper who has worked for decades, had his 20-year-old bakkie stolen. Stealing a bakkie that old, suggests that criminals steal anything. A week ago, a neighbor returned from the bank and was robbed inside his home by thief’s dressed as police.

In December 2017 when the former Minister of Police asked the former President to send the army onto the Cape Flats, Capetonians gave a sigh of relief. Sadly, nothing resulted as both men were not serious about combatting crime and they were both replaced much to the relief of South Africans.

Now, the latest Minister of Police repeats the mantra that the army will not be deployed to crime-ridden locations due to the difference in training between the police and army. Years ago, the Apartheid state created “kits-constables” in 6 months for were fully integrated into the service.

While this is not ideal, can we train the army with added tasks? I am sure soldiers are able to understand their military role versus their role as an addition to the police? The mass illegal economic migration to South Africa suggests limited border control. So where is our army?

South Africa may not be at war with a foreign nation, but we are at war with cruel criminals. In a war, defense is required. If a state is unable to defend its citizens, citizens will react. This reaction creates vigilantism which ultimately leads to general anarchy, resulting in a failed state.

Citizens in a constitutional democracy, pay taxes and thus have a right to safety and security.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress