Pretoria - Comments attributed to Oscar Pistorius’ father, Henk Pistorius, in the British media, regarding the protection of white people from incidents of violent crime in South Africa have been described as unfounded and mischievous, by acting Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams.
Williams condemned the comments in a statement on Tuesday, saying crime was a societal problem, “a common enemy which knows no race and affects all citizens”.
“South Africa is a democratic country with an effective crime prevention, safety and security programme that ensures the protection of all people in the country, irrespective of race. Mr Henk Pistorius is unnecessarily misleading local and international communities by in effect justifying what may be construed as criminal acts and an incitement of racial violence,” said Williams.
According to media reports, Pistorius told a British newspaper that some of the guns he owns were for hunting and some were for protection. “It speaks to the ANC government, look at white crime levels, why protection is so poor in this country, it’s an aspect of our society,” he is quoted as saying.
Oscar Pistorius has been accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of 14 February. He is currently out of bail and will appear in court again on 4 June.
Williams said government was committed to ensuring the safety and security of all South Africans irrespective of their race, gender, sexual orientation and religious beliefs.
“South Africa is a non-racist country governed by the supreme law of the land, the Constitution, which grants all citizens equal protection and benefit of the law.”
Crime prevention was one of government’s five key priorities.
She said significant achievements have been made in this regard, as evident by the findings of 2011 Victims of Crime Survey (VOCS). People in South Africa are feeling safer as a result of police visibility and responsiveness, said Williams.
According to South African Police Service (SAPS) statistics, the level of gun-related crimes in the country has dropped by 21.2% between 2004/5 and 2011/12.
“Government appeals to all citizens not to make irresponsible remarks but to work together to promote peace and harmony and ensure that social cohesion prevails in our country,” said Williams.
She said Government reiterated the responsible ownership and use of weapons. All South Africans are required to be active in building a safe and prosperous society to show commitment to the values enshrined in the Constitution. – SAnews.gov.za