Crime the Beloved Country, Part II
On Wednesday night my beautiful sister and her boyfriend were the victims of a hijacking and an armed robbery in Johannesburg. The gang of four attackers didn't steal the car because it became wrecked during the incident, otherwise they probably would've.
I'm very relieved to tell you that they are alive (despite being shot at no less than FOUR TIMES. Luckily the four bastards couldn't aim to - pardon the pun - save their lives).
My sister is obviously rather traumatised, to put it mildly.
The shock and horror of South Africa's rather high rate of violent crime striking us so close to home has our whole family reeling. Especially me. I'm honestly not taking it well.
And her poor boyfriend? This is the second time in less than a year
for him. Last year he was the victim of an armed home invasion
during which he and his kids were tied up, held up at gun point, taunted,
threatened and robbed.
To top it all off, my mom was robbed of her cell phone while she was
grocery shopping yesterday. It was in her jacket pocket and a guy bumped
into her and pick-pocketed her. Considerably less earth-shattering,
yes, but still... it leaves one so angry and frustrated at the
pointlessness (is that even a word? I can't even think today) of it
And meanwhile, our Minister of (Un)Safety and (In)Security has said,
on record, that white people are making up crime; that it's all in our
minds. Oddly enough, ALL of South Africa's people are suffering under
this 'phantom' crime, and all of us will continue to suffer as he
displays such blatant ignorance and disregard for our safety and his
lack of initiative to do anything about it.
I am SO happy that my sis is alive, but I'm also SO sad that it even happened in the first place.
Yes, I know that violent crime and bad things happen everywhere in the world, but here, it seems everyone has been personally affected, or knows someone who has been affected, by violent crime. And not once during my nine year stay in the States did I meet anyone who had been hijacked. Sure it happens there too, but it's not nearly as rampant there as it is here.
I'm so sad, because there's so much more to South Africa than this. We have the potential to be a great destination and an even greater nation. It is undoubtedly beautiful here, and despite the current chill (but it is winter after all, so I guess I should tolerate it a little longer), our weather really is remarkably lovely. And, like the weather, the majority of the people are genuinely warm with sunny dispositions.
Enough unnecessary blood and tears have been spilled onto and seeped into this soil. Where her heart of gold has kindly pulsated to a gentle rhythm for centuries, it has now contracted in pain, and Mama Africa is once again silently weeping for her Southernmost child.
UPDATE: My heart has just broken a bit more. Check out what a friend just sent me.
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