Phiyega must step up cop training to avoid sham

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega (source: EWN).

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega (source: EWN).

The Oscar Pistorius case has gripped the nation and the world since Valentine’s Day when he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Much of the focus last week was also on the police investigating officer, Detective Warrant Officer, Hilton Botha.

Hours after Eyewitness News revealed that Botha himself was facing several criminal charges relating to a taxi shooting, National Police Commissioner, General Riah Phiyega, pulled him off the case.

She, however, described him as a “good” cop.

And on Friday, Magistrate Desmond Nair, gave Botha a tongue-lashing when he granted Pistorius bail.

Botha contaminated the crime scene and he made a number of mistakes.

Pistorius has to be somewhat thankful to Botha for his inefficiencies that resulted in him getting bail.

If the police can be so useless in a high-profile case, can you imagine how cases of ordinary citizens are handled? Yes, there are pockets of excellence, but for the rest?

Botha said he did not have footgear to wear at the Pistorius crime scene because there was no stock.

Several detectives have since told me they don’t have the essential items to use at crime scenes. Many have to get gloves from paramedics at scenes. Read more

Everyone needs to row in order to turn the tide

This column first appeared in today’s (Tuesday, 19 February 2013) Pretoria News Newspaper.

This column first appeared in today’s (Tuesday, 19 February 2013) Pretoria News Newspaper.

“GRANNY, 100, raped; 16-year-old gangraped; Nine arrested in North West for gang rape; 3-year-old raped in Cosmo City; Soweto pastor arrested for rape…”

And so the headlines continue. The rape scourge has finally outraged the nation.

I wrote in this column last week that it is critical for us to take this collective rage and turn it into concrete outcomes that will make a tangible difference in the fight against violent crime.

I am happy to report back on some of the issues I raised.

I appealed to President Jacob Zuma to publically declare that he was turning 16 days of activism against women and children into 365 days of activism.

It was good to hear Zuma in his State of the Nation address saying we should “make the campaign of fighting violence an every day campaign”. Read more