Stuck in the mud… dead in the water…

In the last few days I have begun to accept more and more that South Africa is a nation divided… where race used to be the greatest cleavage, class and socio-economic status has comfortably replaced it.. much to the chagrin of those who coined the term way back when we have “redefined” apartheid… So much so that if you are a poor, black African living in one of the biggest shanty towns in the world, best believe your death is meaningless. The “investigation” into your death will be conducted by a novice desk officer and nothing will come of it.. On the other {manicured} hand, if you are a touring foreigner, visiting Africa to experience the glamourisation of poverty, rest assured yours will be the “death of the year”…or at least the week…

Yet… EVERYDAY… every single darn day.. at least one murder is committed in this country… at LEAST… most of the perpetrators never make it to the dock and may kill again… the few who do find themselves in court will mostly be acquitted – usually on a technicality, sometimes because despite clear witness testimony “there just wasn’t enough evidence” to convict – and often because prosecuting these poor murderers is “a waste of state resources”… after all the NPA has the murderer of big fat fish like Brett Kebble to deal with! Even in death some animals are more equal than others… *oink*

While my heart and thoughts go out to the family and friends of the deceased honeymooner, I can’t help but think of her as an unwilling martyr, one whose death has in some way got people talking about the rampant violent crime within these borders in which we find ourselves… The media… the vultures that they are, have found a carcass upon which to feast once more.. {The pun, while regrettable is purely intentional}…and we – the public – can {re}start to think about crime in South Africa…

After months of living in a relative state of psychological safety after the South African Police Service (SAPS)’s head honcho released data showing that there was a marked decline in the incidence of violent crime, we were once again reminded that we are in danger… So, please go back to locking your doors {your car, your flat, your office, even the trap door from which words spew every day… lock EVERY door} because WE ARE NOT SAFE.. Were we ever? Seriously. Were we?

It took the hijacking and killing of a Brit for us to be woken up from our self-induced slumber or complacency to realise that crime is real.. it was real BEFORE the honeymooners ventured into Gugulethu and it will continue to be real for minutes, hours, days, months, years to come if we do not commit ourselves to addressing the root cause of our societal malaise.

As bad a series as it is, I can’t help but think of “Ghost Whisperer”! With all the restless souls purportedly floating somewhere close to the Ozone layer hoping their killer will be brought to justice, it would explain the growing cancer eating our society up… I’ll bet my love-handles PW Botha is smiling his wry crocodile smile right now, rubbing his wrinkled hands somewhere in the doldrums of an imagined hell, thinking “I DID leave a legacy!”…

In the words of my friend Kwezi {duly tagged to avoid plagiarism charges}: “Township blacks you can kill other township blacks fine, but kill a tourist and that will be bad for income and we will set up a tourist desk, and give tourists an escort every time they are going into a dangerous area. fuck that shit.”

So? Does anyone else see the elephant in the room? We painted it in rainbow colours in 1994, but we were too fixated with the idea of finally being “democratic” that we neglected to chase the damn mammal out! Trouble with elephants is they need to be constantly fed… I vote we get rid of the damn thing… the stench of its dung is not good for the house in which we live… though it will linger for a few more years, at least it will eventually go… right?

2 thoughts on “Stuck in the mud… dead in the water…

  1. i love South Africa for the level of development, beauty and forward thinking mentality that they have. It is so sad that the crime rate is so high. Just like Nigeria..we have to be alert and pray that the leaders we have equip the lower class citizens to live in a manner that ensures they do not have to resort to violence to live well.
    But why the cruel and wicked.


  2. I hear you! We live in a society where your bank balance gets you better access to services and even media coverage… where we deny that the violent crime is as a result of our neglect of those less fortunate, who out of desperation resort to violence to get what they want… one day it'll all get better… one day..


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