Analysing this past year in South Africa, some very grim statistics emerge. Two of the worst ones leap out at once: namely the fact that since 1994, at least 640,000 people have already died in criminal violence since the black-majority government gained hegemony since 1994. And under black-majority rule, the HIV-AIDS epidemic has spread like wildfire, fanning out from South Africa through all of Africa south of the Sahara.
More than 6,3-million people in SA now are infected with the HI-virus which leads to deadly AIDS -- and its young people of reproductive age are dying of AIDS and the companion disease, extremely drug-resistant Tuberculosis at a rate of about 350,000every year. Undertakers are doing a brisk trade and cemeteries are bursting at the seams.There are over 100 funeral homes in Soweto alone.
And the one main cause behind these horrific AIDS-deaths is the culture of rape which permeates all of South African life – and always has done. Before 1994, AIDS was rarely reported among heterosexual black communities. Fifteen years later, some 6-million mostly black people are already dying of it, and many thousands of new infections are notified each month.
Researchers warn that the main reason is rape: more than 25% of all the females of South Africa, even from early babyhood onward, can expect to be raped at least once before their child-bearing years are over. The latest reports warn that in fact, most of the child-bearing age population of South Africa is now being infected at a rapid rate with HIV-AIDS because of the rape epidemic.
Immediately after apartheid ended in 1994, the country’s violent crime rate also jumped dramatically when the ANC-government replaced most of the previous (white) police force with inexperienced, new black recruits from the townships. The pre-1994 statistics rose from 5,100 murders/homicides as year to an average of 43,000 murders/homicides: i.e. at least 645,000 people were killed in criminal violence under current ANC-hegemony over the past 15 years.
- 5,100 annual murders/homicides a year before apartheid:
- By comparison: before ANC-hegemony in 1994, according to the SA Human Rights Council statistics, South Africa averaged 5,100 annual murders/homicides combined from purely criminal activities.
- Polical violence: Added to this criminal death toll also are the 21,000 people who died in political violence between 1948 and 1994. These deaths also include the SA Defence Force actions outside the South African borders, such as the 600 deaths of ANC-fighters and their Cuban/Russian advisors at Kassinga in Angola during the SA border war in 1978 and SA Police raids on exile-camps in Swaziland and elsewhere.
“Black on black’ violence caused most murders:
Of the criminality-related deaths before 1994, the vast majority, 92%, have been primarily due to black Africans killing black Africans -- a total of 8,580 (92%) of the 9,325 violent deaths during the period June 1990 to July 1993 were for instance, caused by mineworkers killing each other in turf wars or drunken rows at male hostels and by political power battles between the Zulu-dominated Inkatha Freedom Party and the Xhosa-dominated African National congress supporters. During this time, the combined security forces – the SA police and the defence force -- caused a total of 518 deaths (5.6%).
Increasingly, South African crime victims are also terrified of allowing any police members into their homes to investigate crime scenes – because the police forces are now criminalising very rapidly and the public can no longer trust them, the Transvaal Agricultural Union, which represents the country’s few remaining commercial farmers, is also warning. This also greatly interferes in maintaining correct crime-statistics.
Pictures above: On the left, an Xray by the Trauma Society of a recent knifing victim; on the right, a photograph of a knifing victim. Most of their other pictures are just too horrendous to publish.
According to the SA Police Service’s crime statistics, there are many hundreds of thousands of trauma victims in SA each year – but the exact facts are difficult to find, the Trauma Society says. They now maintain their own database of all these treated trauma injuries, how they were dealt with, the recovery rate of trauma patients, and the effect South Africa’s violent crime epidemic has on families and the country’s socio-economic conditions.They also want to build a Wall of Remembrance logging all the details of these crime victims, pointing out that the SA Police Service’s crime statistics are wholly inadequate to even begin to get a grip on how to help the country’s hundreds of thousands of trauma victims . The South African violent crime rate has become so horrendous that it’s become impossible to exaggerate them – most journalists have to tone them down before publication in mainstream news media. For the 2007 ‘official’ statistics per category, access the police website: http://www.saps.gov.za/statistics/reports/crimestats/2008/crime_stats_2008.htm
Initiated by the Trauma Society of South Africa, the Wall of Remembrance would list details of individuals who have died or suffered trauma as a result of the country’s violent crime since 2000. They have also set up a Trauma Registry to collect data relating to the type and management of trauma patients being seen in any medical institution.
Their spokesman said that such Internationally Trauma Registries are common practice, and would be considered mandatory for any Trauma Centre in normal societies – and such registries receive the full report of the policing services of such countries. This is not the case in South Africa.
“South Africa is unique in terms of the quantity and severity of trauma seen. It is high time that we were able to analyse, present and compare our data in a scientific manner.’
Kevin Southgate, a member of the National Leadership Council of the CDA, and spokesman on Safety and Security, says the party welcomes the initiative and will give its full support.
True crime statistics are a mystery:
"Sadly," he said, "this project comes about as a result of the failure of government to provide proper statistics with regard to crime without realising the full implications of their lack of disclosure and inadequate reporting methods."
According to Dr Elmin Steyn of the Society the true number of deaths due to crime and violence in South Africa remains a mystery.
- "With the Wall of Remembrance we aim not only to create a memorial to the individuals who have lost their lives, but also to build up a database of information on numbers, places and circumstances of death to provide a bulk of evidence to continue the struggle towards a safer society." she said.
Mr Southgate claimed that credible national statistics are impossible to find, not only because of the lack of a standardised compulsory national trauma data collection system. There is a very strong reluctance among government leaders to make public the available data: "The government's failure in this regard, makes it impossible for other organisations such as TSSA to function properly and effectively," he said.
"The trauma and implications of violent crime have a compounding effect whereby, families are left without breadwinners, many left permanently disfigured or incapacitated and many man-hours lost to the economy." The project is being piloted at various hospitals and is also available at the Health24 website on http://www.health24.com/tools/remembrance/remembrance.asp
Mr Southgate said he also felt that such a Wall of Remembrance would be important for emotional healing of families and friends as they largely felt ignored by government and received no compassion or understanding for their loss. "
"The CDA will be launching an awareness campaign across the country requesting the public to participate," he said. "Only when we have an extensive database of trauma deaths, can we holistically prepare awareness and prevention strategies at multiple levels in our country."
South African public terrified of ‘criminal’ police
The Transvaal Agricultural Union, TLU commenting on the recent statement by the Minister of Safety and Security that 'the SA Police Service are battling with corrupt elements in its own ranks', said this was acknowledgement of the reality which everyone in South Africa now faced every day. Everywhere, reports are streaming in of policemen abusing crime victims when they arrive to investigate crimes; of uniformed, armed police officers forming robbery gangs; and of local police officers refusing to response to urgent calls from families while they are under attack by criminal gangs inside their own homes.
Victims of crime are increasingly terrified of letting any uniformed police into their homes to investigate crimes -- fearing that they will be mugged, robbed, raped and murdered instead, the farmers’ cooperative warns. They were, they said, ‘deeply worried' about the minister's admission that the country's own policing system was rapidly becoming part of problem which was creating the now totally out of control crime-epidemic.
- "Whenever farmers are attacked, or any member of the public becomes a crime victim, they should be able to place their trust in the integrity of the local police they are forced to deal with. The Minister now has confirmed that many members of the SAPD cannot be trusted - so how can members of the public be expected to trust any of them?”
Firearm licensing carried out by ‘criminal’ cops:
"In this process they also of course gain access to sensitive security information, which could and undoubtedly is being passed on to criminal gangs. Can the public be blamed for not being too willing to welcome members of the SAPD into their homes?"
380,000 women raped in South Africa each year
One of the main reasons why HIV-AIDS is at such a high level in South Africa, with some 6-million people now infected with the human-immune-deficiency virus which leads to deadly AIDS, is rape.
One in every four South African females of all races and ages, even the smallest babies, will experience rape at least once; 380,000 cases of rapes are REPORTED annually in South Africa. The reported rape cases in South Africa are the highest in the world.
Gang rape is a youth cult in black townships
Gang rape -- jackrolling -- has even become a youth-cult in South Africa: see video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0faQ-xo_Ao
Young in the sprawling township of Soweto near Johannesburg have just one aim: to impregnate every woman under age 26 in the township. Rape is also a form of initiation among the men: new inmates in male prisons are inevitably raped upon arrival by all members of any given cell although most lead heterosexual lifestyles outside of prison. The sexual abuse of children is also common in townships.
And all these horrors occur without any kind of lubrication and of course without condoms - and the friction causes mucosal tearing and bleeding.
Dr. S. Armstrong, a leading South African researcher warns in a recent medical report published by the National Institutes of Health in the USA, that 'such conditions of unprotected, unlubricated sex (rape) with multiple partners are one important reason why HIV is so rapidly transmitted in South Africa.'
Women in SA not allowed to use condoms, contraceptives:
And researchers K. Wood and R. Jewkes also report on studies among pregnant adolescents in Cape Town that there is 'widespread male coercion and violence within these sexual relationships. The pregnant teens reported 'assault as a regular feature of their relationships.'
"In South Africa, power relations between men and women are commonly manifested as and imposed through sexual violence and assault.
“ Men use physical assault to force sexual contact, beating their female partners if they refuse to have sex, or if they are found to be using contraceptives.'
Women often experience abuse such as gang rape - yet health officials in SA 'refuse to acknowledge sexual encounters such as these as rape'.
Researcher L. de K Ackermann from the department of sociology at the University of the Free State (firstname.lastname@example.org) also writes: “it is evident that social factors such as the high rate of rape... and their inability to insist on condom usage, make South African women unable to negotiate the timing of sex and its conditions.They are powerless to protect themselves against HIV-infection.'
Ackermann also slammed the current HIV-prevention campaigns, which don't take into account the fact that females, from a very early age onward, have no control whatsoever over their own sexual lives, warning:
- "The rampant spread of this disease can only be stemmed if the subordinate sexual position of woman is acknowledged and addressed,' Ackermann warned. email Ackermal@hum.uovs.ac.za
“The degree to which women are able to control various aspects of their sexual lives is clearly a critical question for health promotion and the prevention of AIDS.
“It is evident that social factors such as the high rate of rape, the unfavourable economic position of women, and the inability to insist on condom usage make South African women unable to negotiate the timing of sex and the conditions under which it occurs.
“They are…powerless to protect themselves against HIV infection. Prevention campaigns often do not take into account the reality of their daily lives and the difficulties they have to gain control over their own sexual lives. The rampant spread of this disease can only be stemmed if the subordinate position of women is acknowledged and addressed.”
"It is these (male-dominated) power relations which determine women's ability or inability to protect themselves against sexually transmitted disease, pregnancy, and unwelcome sexual acts.'
- Video of ANC minister’s parliamentary statement telling whinging crime victims to ‘get out of the country”: access youtube.com/watch?v=7ZQC9pGG1HU