S.Africa peace-loving and safe despite violence: Zuma
South African President Jacob Zuma, piqued that his country might be seen abroad as crime-ridden and violent, on Thursday insisted it was a peace-loving and stable nation.
His comments came after a series of high-profile incidents this year that include the deadly shooting by Olympian sprinter Oscar Pistorius of his girlfriend and the brutal rape and mutilation of a teenage girl.
In another incident last week, a Mozambican died in custody after he was handcuffed and dragged behind a police van.
But Zuma said an outpouring of outraged “disgust” should not see all citizens painted as brutal or the country as an “inherently violent place to live in”.
“We should be careful not to rubbish our country without realising,” he told traditional leaders at parliament.
“South Africa is not (a) violent country. It is certain people in our country who are violent. By and large we are not, we are peace-loving people.”
The country was stable and peaceful with some elements that acted in “shocking and unacceptable ” manner, he said.
According to latest annual police statistics, South Africa recorded more than 64,514 rapes and 15,609 murders.