In a country awash with violent crime that daily accounts for 70 murders,  some of the views and warnings of so-called experts on how to go about self-defence will surely be welcomed by robbers and criminals (The Mercury, August 8).

According to “legal expert” Mpumelelo Zikalala, self-defence is not allowed if you are defending your property. The import of his statement is that you are not allowed to deter a robber from helping himself to your possessions.  This is great news for robbers!

 The initiative of the woman who, in her extreme fear of possible rape or murder, threw boiling water over her intruder as she screamed help, should be applauded. Instead, the report commiserates with the intruder because  he died “in agony.”  Too bad.  Criminals need to be aware of the risks they are taking and to accept that they may be deterred – terminally.

Obviously confronting an armed intruder needs a passive approach in order to safeguard one’s own life.  But advising the public to contact the SAPS, as Vishal Lachman of the Shallcross CPF advocates, is naïve in the extreme. As we all know, by the time the SAPS have answered the phone, the intruder would have taken command of the situation. Then, of course, the SAPS have limited mobility and could take hours to show up.

Trespassing on private property is unlawful. Awareness of the potential dangers in confronting an intruder is well and good.  But at the same time, the message that needs to be projected is that self-defence should not be compromised in favour of the criminal.

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