The killing of Sibusiso Radebe, an MP belonging to South Africa’s governing African National Congress (ANC), apparently in a botched car hijacking on Tuesday night, illustrates the seriousness of violent crime in the country.

The nation is in shock, with many people asking: If a person of stature can be shot and killed while sitting in a car with a friend, then what about us, ordinary citizens?

Nevertheless, the number of murders have decreased since the end of minority rule 24 years ago, but killings are still unacceptably high.

The annual police report released last October showed that murders had increased – from 18,673 in 2015/16 to 19,016 in 2016/17.

There has also been a spike in political killings, largely as a result of feuds within the ANC, in the coastal province of KwaZulu Natal.

There is no suggestion that Mr Radebe’s killing is a political hit, although police say the exact motive is still unclear. They are searching for two suspects.

New police minister Bheki Cele has promised to reduce the crime rate, and everyone is hoping that he will succeed.

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