‘Phone is not worth your life’, expert | The Citizen





The Tuks student who was shot and killed for a cellphone over the weekend was just one of the thousands of victims of common robbery in South Africa.

The University of Pretoria confirmed the death, which occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning in Hatfield, close to the Tuksdorp residence.

According to the police crime statistics for the first quarter of the financial year, common robberies reported in the first term of 2022, went down by 1% from 10 565 cases reported this year, compared to the 10 701 reported in the same period last year.

Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo confirmed two suspects, aged 38 and 33, appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of murder, armed robbery and possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition in connection with the student’s murder.

Security expert Dr Johan Burger said the biggest problem was, like many other crimes, there was a market for the products.

“A cellphone is relatively small and can easily be hidden by the criminal after a robbery. Then it can be sold to the willing buyer at a price significantly lower than its value. Both parties score,” he said.

Burger said besides crime syndicates that focused on these types of products, the high unemployment rate and rising levels of poverty contributed enormously to the problem.

“Victims usually act instinctively to protect their property. The cellphone is their link with family and circle of friends. “For the criminal, it is a source of income for which he does not want to go to prison. Therefore, he will answer any resistance to his attack or attempt to arrest him with violence. His life is worth much more to him than that of his victim,” he said.

Burger said people had to accept this reality and preferably not use cellphones in public where they were visible.

“If you must use it, move to a place where you are less exposed to such a threat. Should you be confronted by a criminal during a robbery, the best advice is always to do what he asks.

Usually, the criminal is satisfied once he has the stuff he’s looking for and will leave you alone,” he said.

Burger said the inconvenience and loss of cellphones, wallets, and cash were not worth your life.

A criminologist at the University of Limpopo, Professor Jaco Barkhuizen, said the student’s murder was shocking but not surprising.

“All smartphones are expensive. In our digital age, we store all our info on the phone, photos, e-mails, bank accounts, IDs and passports. It’s the same as a handbag; it’s personal and many people work on their phones.

It has become an extension of the self, especially a smartphone… “As we saw in the latest crime stats, crimes against persons are shooting through the roof.

There is nothing in place to ensure people’s safety in social settings. Due to the lack of boots on the ground, people have a high propensity to be victims of crime.

“It was heartrending that someone with such potential was killed for something as trivial as a cellphone.”

ALSO READ: Two arrested for University of Pretoria student’s murder

– marizkac@citizen.co.za



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