What the crime statistics really mean
As if we needed a reminder, the release earlier this week of the national crime statistics once again emphasised the power of the military junta that has taken control of South Africa (see Cabbages & Kings – IT-Online May 8).  


Hard on the heels of the recent chaos caused by "General Strike" and his month-long mobilisation of public servants, Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula was forced to concede that "General Crime" is firmly in control as one of most prominent members of the junta.
The list of crime statistics made for some horrifying reading. Bank robberies up by a staggering 118%, house robberies up by 25% and cash in transit heists increasing by almost 22% over the previous reporting period.
Even in those categories where figures indicated some improvement over the previous year, there was little to celebrate.
In fact, "General Confusion" managed to get in on the act when it came to trying to understand some of the figures.
For example, it was interesting to note that while the number of attempted murders had declined, murder itself had increased by 2.4%.
Not too sure, but I guess this means that people intent on committing murder are getting more proficient at it – that when they do decide to kill they are getting it right more often than they are botching the job.
I suppose the junta general in charge of skills development and national productivity will lay claim to some achievement or other when it comes to the attempted murder and murder statistics.
Any relief at noting a fall in the number of rapes was quickly off-set by critics pointing out that this could be attributed to an even more dramatic decrease in the number of incidents that were officially reported.
At the same time, the 3% decrease in contact crime seemed to confirm the involvement of "General Confusion".
Without a detailed definition and understanding of what "contact crime" is all about, it would seem obvious that if there was a decrease in the number of rapes that there would be a corresponding decline in the number of "contact crimes".
I wonder which general in the junta is going to claim credit for successfully implementing a "hands off" management style?
I’m also willing to bet that a junta general will claim an economic policy coup by pointing out that the dramatic increases in house robberies, bank robberies and cash in transit heists will boost liquidity in the economy to help off-set the impact of the national credit act.
– David Bryant