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Why I feel unsafe in South Africa – rapper Cassper Nyovest

In the wake of a recent surge in gun violence plaguing South Africa, renowned rapper Cassper Nyovest has made a scathing indictment of the country’s state, calling it “lawless.”

Nyovest’s remarks come after a string of high-profile shootings, including the recent murders of a popular DJ and MC, Peter ‘Mashata’ Mabuse as well as prominent Kaizer Chiefs footballer Luke Fleurs, highlighting the growing unease and fear gripping many South Africans.

Mabuse was gunned down in his car in the early hours of last Sunday, 21 April 2024 just after leaving a performance at Epozini Lifestye in in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria. The DJ tragically died at Netcare Akasia Hospital, while his friend sustained a gunshot wound to the shoulder.

The shooting and killing of Mabuse came a mere day after a footballer for South African football giants Chiefs, Fleurs, received a hero’s send-off on Saturday, 20 April following his own murder. Fleurs was shot and killed in a car hijacking incident on April 3 in Honeydew, Johannesburg.

This surge in gun violence has left many South Africans leaving in fear including Nyovest and students in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, where three people died and another was wounded in a shooting in the centre of Braamfontein on Thursday, 29 February.


“We are only safe in God’s hands. South Africa is lawless. It’s so sad to see what our country has become. It’s not even fun anymore to be outside. I would rather watch a movie,” said Nyovest.

The rapper’s assertion of South Africa’s lawlessness has found backing in recent crime statistics released by the South African Police Service (SAPS). The data reveals a disturbing rise in gun-related violence, with gun murders spiking a staggering 35%.

In the 2021/2022 financial year, an average of 23 people were gunned down daily. This number jumped to a shocking 31 per day in 2022-2023.

Nyovest’s close friend Oupa “DJ Sumbody” Sefoka was part of the gun stats as he was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting along with his bodyguard, Walter Sbusiso in November 2022.

With more high-profile gun murders shaking the country in recent years, like those of leading SA rappers AKA (Kiernan Forbes), Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa and popular musician Vusi Ma R5, Nyovest also expressed his concern that criminals feel they can get away with their crimes.

He believes they see weaknesses in the justice system and don’t fear getting caught or punished.

Meyiwa was fatally shot in a robbery that took place on 26 October 2014, at his girlfriend and SA musician Kelly Khumalo’s house in Vosloorus. 10 years later, the culprit is yet to be brought to book.

On the other hand, Pretoria musician Itumeleng Mosoeu, known by his stage name Vusi Ma R5, was shot and killed at a pub in Soshanguve in January 2023.

Perhaps well-known rapper and Nyovest’s biggest rival in the SA hip hop space AKA’s killing was closer to home. AKA was shot and killed alongside his friend Tebello ‘Tibz’ Motsoane, a chef and entrepreneur, outside a restaurant in Durban in February 2023.

AKA’s deaths, along with those of DJ Sumbody, and musician Vusi Ma R5, remain unsolved as their families continue to seek closure. Those who committed these crimes seem to face no consequences and continue to walk free.

“The gun violence in South Africa is just scary,” said Nyovest. “These are people’s kids, fathers, brothers and sisters that are senselessly getting killed. Criminals have realised that they can do as they wish and nothing is being done about it. It’s just sad to watch and painful to live in this country which used to be such a bliss.”

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