South African popular TV series Generations actor Mandla Hlatshwayo was killed in a mugging on Sunday, approved joining celebrities like Lucky Dube, Corrie Sanders and Gito Baloi on the list of victims of the country’s notorious street crimes.
Mandla and his friend were shot after confronting a group of men who had robbed women of their mobile phones in a pub in Soweto.
South Africa has one of the highest murder rates in the world with more than 50,000 cases reported every year. Mandla’s death has sparked a debate around how to tackle the country’s rampant crime levels but it makes many realise there are no easy solutions, the BBC reports.
In 2012, The Observer editor Benon Herbert Oluka was sojourning in South Africa on a fellowship and faced the scary face of South Africa’s streets when two muggers attacked him with knives in an attempt to rob him of a mobile phone and other personal belongings. Instinct had played its favour and Oluka reacted fast to fight off the muggers and run for dear life – but not before they stabbed him near the left ear.
But the biggest tragedy of South Africa’s street violence will for years to come always be synonymous with the shooting dead of music icon Lucky Dube in October 2007. Dube was killed by two or three youths who apparently gave no warning or demands after realizing that their victim was the celebrated reggae icon. The youth were apparently on a car-hijacking mission. Dube tried to drive away, but lost control of his car and crashed into a tree.
His son got out of the car and ran for help. His daughter, 16, also in the vehicle, was unharmed.
Dube’s killing follows the murder of bass guitarist Gito Baloi in Johannesburg in 2004 in similar circumstances. Killers took Baloi’s wallet after shooting him through the window of his car.
In September 2012, former heavyweight world boxing champion Corrie Sanders was shot during an armed robbery on a pub he was hanging out from. The 46-year-old was attending a family celebration at a restaurant near Pretoria. He died in hospital.
Sanders is the pugilist who shocked the world when he beat Wladimir Klitschko to win the WBO heavyweight title in 2003.