South Africa—Statistics in South Africa’s recent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces are being used as propaganda to scare away tourists, according to police minister Bheki Cele.
Cele, along with national police commissioner General Khela Sitole and other top cops were grilled by parliament’s police portfolio committee on Thursday on issues ranging from the gutting of the SAPS budget to the command structure of the military.
While replying to questions by ANC MP Asnath Molekwa about potential investors being scared away from South Africa because of the country’s high crime figures, Cele said statistics have been used globally as an economic barrier to making tourists chose a certain country at the expense of another.
“It is used as propaganda especially when it comes to tourism and investment,” he spoke.
Cele used Rio de Janeiro as a city whose attractions hid another reality.
“They talk about beautiful women, beautiful beaches, all kind of stuff,” he said.
Tourists were informed by officials, not to take cameras into Rio’s notorious favelas shanties because of an agreement they have with drug lords not to film video or capture pictures, he alleged.
“You don’t have a situation where you’ll have an agreement between the SA Police Service and the drug lords, “he said. “There you can’t go into favelas as a member of the police force because you need permission from the drug lords. You can never hear about these things.” He added.
Molekwa noted in her questions that SA was ranked as the third-most dangerous country in the world, according to the Number 2021 crime index.
As Pretoria is said to be the second most dangerous city in the globe after Carcas, Venezuela, while Durban and Johannesburg took fourth and fifth respectively, according to Numbeo data.
“If the crime rate is out of control in the country no one will take the risk of investing in South Africa.” Said Molekwa