𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗮𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗼𝗻 𝟯 𝗗𝗲𝗰𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟯.
In October 2021, a frantic call from a distraught husband sent emergency services and police to Pastor Liezel de Jager’s house. But it was already too late. Liezel was found strangled outside her Amanzimtoti home. Her father, Henk van Zyl - a former detective - made over 90 calls to police for feedback but, for two years, the investigation stalled… until civil rights organisation, Action Society, got involved. With increased pressure and media attention, police finally arrested a suspect last week. It’s an all-too-familiar picture: a case that clearly illustrates the fallout from an overburdened detective service unable to keep up with South Africa’s ever-soaring crime rates. According to the police’s own latest statistics, just under 12.5 percent of the country’s murders are solved. As families mourning the brutal deaths of their loved ones wait months or even years for closure, does the answer lie in watchdog organisations that effectively privatise the investigation and prosecution of crime? Carte Blanche investigates.
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