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'SA most dangerous place to live in'

Former South African Test cricketer Pat Symcox says people are tired of the lawlessness in the country.

world Updated: Sep 27, 2007 15:56 IST

Former South African Test cricketer Pat Symcox says the country has become the "most dangerous place to live in" and he is not surprised that young people are leaving the country in droves.

Symcox, who recently quit cricket commentatory, made the comments after his close friend Etienne Roets was shot dead in front of his two children and wife by intruders in the town of Amanzimtoti, south of Durban.

The 29-year-old Roets was a former cricket and rugby coach.

The murder has caused widespread uproar in the country with Symcox calling for urgent action to eradicate crime.

"I have been comfortable living in South Africa until about two years ago. South Africa is a dangerous place to live in and to bring up your kids", he said.

"I don't think I can tell my son or my grand children to stay in South Africa. I think it's time for people to get out of here. Young people are leaving and you can't blame them. And we are tired of those who blame crime on the legacy of apartheid, because it is the biggest rubbish of all," he added.

Symcox said the people were fed up with crime and were willing to take law into their own hands to protect their families.

"The message from people on the ground is that they are tired of the lawlessness. Everywhere I go, the conversation is 'let's hope the police don't catch him, rather bring him to us and when we are done he will wish he had been jailed'," Symcox said.

The strong statements by Symcox are symptomatic of the sentiments of most South Africans who are faced with armed robberies, house break-ins, hold-ups, hijackings, rapes and murders.

Most people blame the government for allowing criminals to believe that they could continue with their criminal activities because the criminal justice system is ineffective.

First Published: Sep 27, 2007 14:02 IST