So while I am blogging that SA is not the most dangerous place on planet earth yesterday, tabloids and broadsheets both here and abroad are having field day with the murder of Eugene Terreblanche.
People forget that this land has survived all manner of hardships – political and natural. I will not enter into debate on the who, what, where, when and hows of the incident. I will say, my experience, is that most South Africans are warm, a bit conservative and not inclined to the behaviour that is being portrayed in the news.
Most of us are out doing our usual things and tut-tutting at the headlines. We have a habit here, of chatting to strangers as if we know them. Post Office and supermarket queues around the land will have us sharing our opinions on this one.
The first question most people ask about South Africa is to do with crime. And after watching the BBC show with Louis Tredoux last night I am really not surprised since that’s what people see. I wouldn’t set foot anywhere near Hillbrow at night which is where Louis Tredoux was filming.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office says “There is a high level of crime, but most occurs in townships and isolated areas away from the normal tourist destinations. More that 460 000 Britons visit South Africa every year. Most visits are trouble free.”
I know people who have been victims of violent and senseless crime and I’m not suggesting that South Africa is anything like Iceland or New Zealand. We can only wish to live like that. But if you compare our crime in the hot spots with crime in other global hot spots our numbers are lower.
Where we come horribly short is the per capita statistics. There are more and more violent deaths here per capita than anywhere else. However, I don’t walk around filled with terror every day of my life. Green Point is a safe area by world standards. Use plain common sense and a visit to South Africa will be a safe one. Our crime statistics are freely available at this link South African Police home page.