2007-04-23 : Nqakula admits crime drove out expats

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2007-04-23 : Nqakula admits crime drove out expats

Postby GOSA » Wed, 2007-05-09 11:14


Nqakula admits crime drove out expats

April 23 2007 at 04:56AM

By Elizma Nolte

Many South Africans abroad have not just run away but left the country because of the high levels of crime, Minister of Safety and Security Charles Nqakula has admitted.

At a press briefing in London, Nqakula called on such South Africans to interact with government officials and NGOs on the issue.

He acknowledged that many South Africans who had left the country had been personally affected by crime. "I have met with people like that and I empathise with them," he said.
'It is clear that they have not just run away'

"It is clear that they have not just run away, but want to make a contribution to South Africa... they are saying that they are still available as South Africans."

He said South Africans abroad have many skills which South Africans here can acquire.

He also encouraged them to keep interacting with South Africa, to contribute towards reducing poverty and to help "put the South African cause" to their local communities abroad.

His message stood in stark contrast to his much-criticised remarks in parliament last year that people who "whinged" about crime should leave the country. Although Nqakula later apologised and said that his words were "politicking" aimed at negative opposition MPs, many South Africans living abroad were angered by what they thought was a direct accusation and a reluctance from the government to admit the true extent of the crime problem in South Africa.

At the end of last week, Nqakula joined a group of key representatives from the South African community in London for breakfast, giving them a candid view of the crime problem in South Africa. He also explained the challenges facing the police force and detailed what is being done to reduce crime in South Africa.

Nqakula has taken the same message to the British parliament and business investors during meetings in London.

Nqakula also discussed the 2010 Soccer World Cup with his British counterparts and said South Africa could learn from them about crowd control and surveillance technology.

"There was a lot of sympathy for us and a preparedness by people to come and help us," he said.

"And on our own we are determined to deal with crime, because one of our visions is peace and stability and we can't have that with the current levels of crime."

This article was originally published on page 3 of Pretoria News on April 23, 2007
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