South Africa’s crime intelligence is in crisis. That is according to Dr Anthony Turton – a military intelligence analyst and member of the former South African Secret Service.
His statement follows the gunning down of 16 people in Soweto and four others in Pietermaritzburg at the weekend. Both incidents happened at taverns.
Dr Turton says complex issues such as the movement of illegal weapons, police instability, and political infighting are contributing to a breakdown in law and order in the country.
“The general breakdown of law and order and the fact that the rule of law seems to no longer apply here in SA is something that came to the fore here in KZN a year back when we had the insurrection that took place, the massive looting. Now, what was important in that event was that there were certain parts that were pre-planned but the other important thing that happened a year ago is that it became clear that the state is no longer in charge. The government is no longer in charge and that has a lot of national security ramifications.”
Minister Bheki Cele visits Soweto following the mass shooting:
The recent shootings at taverns have also thrust gun laws in South Africa into the spotlight. According to experts, the attacks could be linked to gun control regarding illegal firearms.
Criminologist Dr. Guy Lamb says South Africa has seen fairly tight gun laws since the early 2000s and that the latest shootings could be attributed to gun control, however, historical context must be considered.
He further adds that laws were changed to make it difficult for persons over the age of 16 to own a gun.