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26 April 2023 

Nothing to celebrate this Freedom Day 


Kidnapping in South Africa is four times higher than ten years ago.


More than 4 000 kidnapping cases were reported at police stations in 2022, double the amount compared to 2021.


Martlé Keyter, Chief Executive Officer of MISA, the Motor Industry Staff Association, says it is clear that kidnappings for ransom and extortion is a booming business in South Africa. 


“The theme of South Africa’s national celebrations for Freedom Day this year is Consolidating and Safeguarding Democratic Gains. But what did we gain if we can’t leave our homes 29 years after the first democratic elections, knowing that we will be safe.” questions Keyter.


Keyter applauds the South African Police Service (SAPS) for acting swiftly in the arrest of two suspects for the gruesome murder of two boys from Soweto, Johannesburg, Nqobizitha Zulu (5) and Tshiamo Rabanye (6). Their mutilated bodies were found 1.4kms apart in Rockville and White City, respectively, by residents after a nearly 24-hour search last week.


Just last week ten members from the same family, including seven women and three men, were killed by gunmen in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal. No arrests have been made. 


“It is no longer mainly women and children that are targeted. It is anyone. We are faced with a pandemic of gender based violence and a bloodbath of violent crime.”


“Crime is the main reason why more than 6 000 South Africans emigrated last year, having a direct impact on the eroding tax base of the South African Revenue Service.”


Police Minister, Bheki Cele, promised in February when he released the quarterly crime statistics that more police officers will be deployed and their impact will be felt.  But on 17 March 2023 President Cyril Ramaphosa had to deploy more than 3 400 members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to help the police fight crime.


Operation Prosper was scheduled to end on 17 April 2023. 


“South Africans are not safe, even in their own homes and can’t enjoy freedom. The current situation makes a mockery of the immeasurable sacrifices made by so many individuals for all of us to enjoy freedom,” says Keyter. 


MISA believes that Government must take urgent action to ensure that it adheres to the Constitution.


“According to the Constitution everyone has the right to freedom and security of the person, which includes the right not to be deprived of freedom arbitrarily or without just cause; not to be detained without trial; to be free from all forms of violence from either public or private sources and not to be tortured in any way,” says Keyter. 


Issued on behalf of MISA by Sonja Carstens, Media, Liaison and Communication Specialist. 


For MISA Press Releases, phone Carstens on 082 463 6806 or email



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