Crime the Beloved Country, Part II

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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
all.

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.

DailySun1.jpg

15 Comments

Annika said:

When I was carjacked, people kept saying how lucky I was to be OK physically. And while I am certainly delighted that I was, I DO NOT GET that sort of thinking. Crimes like this shouldn't happen AT ALL. The fact that I wasn't hurt, that your sister and her boyfriend weren't hurt, does NOT make it OK that we were attacked.

Sorry, reading this brought back some of my ire. I am very glad that sis is all right, but pissed off that you have to live with this as the norm. *hugs* xxoo

redsaid said:

Annika, I had NO IDEA that it happened to you too. So I suppose, since we actually did meet each other, I am wrong in saying that I didn't meet anyone who was a victim of it over there.
Yes, you are right. These things should NEVER have to happen. To ANYONE. Hugs to you too and by the way, your baby boy is gorgeous! I miss you and wish I could hang in the Starbucks in Pasadena with you again.

miked said:

While my roommate was visiting sa last year her home (family's home) was broken into while her boyfriend and her were sleeping upstairs. The alarm wasn't working correctly so they didn't bother with it. They were lucky when the theives left when they heard them upstairs... My roommate was left shaken, and was given a new outlook of her former home.

I'm glad to hear everyone is safe! The newsclipping is very disturbing, and very sickening...

I'm at a loss for words, I wish you and your family the best.
Michael

Gretchenn said:

I have no words, only thoughts and prayers.

Greta Krige said:

Hey there sweetie! This is my first visit to your blog, and its awesome! Sorry it took me so long to get here! Can't believe poor sister no4! That's shocking, I really hope they are alright, emotionally, I mean!

kim said:

i'm sorry red but also glad your sister and her bf are okay physically. living in safe germany i can't imagine how it must be having to expect something like that to happen to you whenever you're out doing something - or even in your own house... and i can't believe the article... that's horrible.

TimT said:

How terrible - I'm so sorry to hear this!

A take care message to you and your family from Melbourne, Australia!

deeleea said:

Oh that's so nasty; Red, I'm, glad they're ok, and totally wish there was something we could do from here...

Thanks for the comments last week... I totally didn't realise I was moderating and deleted them by accident... clicking delete at the very moment I realised they were there... Gah... no doubt they were witty and sparkling as ever...

All in all, I'm embarassed that your comments are the greatest of my worries when you tell us stories like these, and so my prayers are with you and your family Red.

xxx

pylorns said:

wow, not cool.

SilverSabre said:

Let me just say that whoever that person was that said that he deserves to spend some hard time in Jail, preferably with a cell mate named Bubba and a serious lack of vaseline.

I think it is about time we stop looking at our past and pretending that being a person of colour entitles us to freebies. Its definately time that we realize that we are onr country and that racism in any form is unacceptable.

I am so sad about ur sister and her bf. Things like this should never happen to anyone.

I have no idea how we can hope to host a world cup if our country cannot take care of its own internal security.

Vanessa said:

Wow, I can't believe that.

With the reference to 1652, obviously this is a deep rooted and complicated problem. I hope that peace amongst the peoples of SA can be reached. Nobody, black or white, should have to live with violent crime.

Pienk Zuit said:

The violent crime here is horrible. I'm not sure what we can do about it, but there must be something we can do. One way is to vote the right people into government so they can do something about it. Question is who?

ExAfrica said:

I'm so glad I left.

My stress levels have hugely decreased and sleep leavels increased since I left CPT. I never take Cindal (sp?)or Tylenal PM anymore - not much anyway ;)

Doubt I'll ever be back to live....can't take it.

Nadine said:

Oh hon', I'm sorry! My father was born in your country. I know he really wants to go visit SA again sometime. But with all the violence, he's just too afraid.

Thoughts & prayers for you & your family!

Aquila said:

I'm very glad that your sister and her boyfriend both came away unscathed physically. I know that the the mental aspect also takes a while to heal, so good luck. As spaced-out as it may sound, but coucelling does help. Highly recommended.

http://aquilaonline.co.za/2005/01/they-came-they-saw-i-kicked-some-ass/

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is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
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comments
  • Aquila : I'm very glad that your sister and her boyfriend both came away unscathed physically. I know that t... [go]
  • Nadine : Oh hon', I'm sorry! My father was born in your country. I know he really wants to go visit SA again ... [go]
  • ExAfrica : I'm so glad I left. My stress levels have hugely decreased and sleep leavels increased since I le... [go]
  • Pienk Zuit : The violent crime here is horrible. I'm not sure what we can do about it, but there must be somethi... [go]
  • Vanessa : Wow, I can't believe that. With the reference to 1652, obviously this is a deep rooted and complic... [go]
  • SilverSabre : Let me just say that whoever that person was that said that he deserves to spend some hard time in J... [go]
  • pylorns : wow, not cool.... [go]
  • deeleea : Oh that's so nasty; Red, I'm, glad they're ok, and totally wish there was something we could do from... [go]
  • TimT : How terrible - I'm so sorry to hear this! A take care message to you and your family from Melbourn... [go]
  • kim : i'm sorry red but also glad your sister and her bf are okay physically. living in safe germany i can... [go]
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