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Rethink needed to stem crime rate

by Sunday Express
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Elsewhere in this issue, we carry yet another chilling, if not sickening, story of the sexual abuse of an innocent child in what should have been the safe surroundings of her community.
This particular two-year-old girl from Katlehong became the umpteenth victim of the perverts among us when she was raped on her way from the shops by an unknown assailant.

While the police have launched an investigation into what could have happened on that fateful day on Monday last week, this is no comfort to the girl’s family or the Katlehong community at large, or as the perpetrator remains at large and a danger to society.

In-fact, this loathsome character is not just a danger to the Katlehong community, as he is free to travel to any part of Lesotho and carry on with his abhorrent actions.
It is such distressing thoughts which make lack of any breakthrough by the police — five days after the abuse of the child in broad daylight — as disturbing as knowing this criminal element is roaming free and probably waiting to strike again.

It is true that parents are supposed to be aware of the whereabouts of their children at any given point in time, to ensure they are safe from such abusive elements in our society.
But as was the case in this particular incident, the mother of the child was very much aware of where her child had gone to, yet the little girl was still attacked, in a clear demonstration that there can never be any guarantee of safety for as long as such villains are walking the streets as free men.

Yet this is not the first time that such ghastly crimes against girl-children and women, have made news headlines in Lesotho.
Every week, the police have reported shocking cases of complete disregard for the rights of this vulnerable group through some of the most heinous crimes to be perpetrated against a fellow human being.
But despite the public outrage each time such a crime comes to light, Basotho continue to be subjected to untold suffering which comes with the knowledge that whatever systems might be in place, have failed to contain the situation.

There is no running away from the fact that the unrelenting crime is a clear indication that our systems, both social and cultural, need a serious relook if we are to arrest the ever-increasing crime-rate that has slowly made Lesotho a frightening place to live, particularly for women and children.
This does not only apply to our law-enforcement agents but also how communities appear to be failing to co-exist in the current changing environment.
Over the years, Lesotho has proudly been known as a country of relative peace and breath-taking beauty due to her scenic topography.

It would be a pity should senseless crime destroy this deserved reputation, hence our call for every single one of us to report any criminal or suspicious acts to the relevant authorities so that criminals are put where they belong — which is behind bars and away from civilisation.


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