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When a life equals a handbag, we must worry

“I read the news today, oh boy”  What shattered my spirit was not the story about a woman who drove over a smash and grabber, it is very likely that under the same circumstances I would have acted as she did.   but the comments below the article broke my heart.  To quote a few :

“Hi hope he dies…SLOWLY and in AGONIZING PAIN”

 

“Nice! NICE! WHAT a pleasure!! Such GOOD news! But how can the driver live with herself for not havng reversed over the dogshirt to make SURE he was dead?”

 

“If everybody reacted like this lady then there would be fewer hijackers. Personally, I would have driven over him five times to make sure he was dead. The thieves, murderers, rapists and the rest of the criminals have more rights in South Africa than the so called “innocent people.” If you injure an intruder in your home you have to prove he was there to do harm to you or property. All he has to say is that he was looking for water. Unless he actually commits a crime, such as killing you (you can’t defend yourself if you are dead) or leaving your property with your possessions you cannot stop him. That is the new South African Law. So if the crim is dead then it is your word against his and if he is dead he ain’t saying nothing!!”

 

“Who’s finished and klaar now? Somebody grab his life support, he doesn’t deserve it!”

 

“let the fkcer die!! We, law abiding citizens are getting sick and tired of this human garbag”

 

“She should have revesed and make sure that he is dead by driving on him again,then he will not try this anymore.
But please sent me that good lady s name she deserve an award.”

 

And this one by someone who calls themself ‘proudsafrican’ “It’s good to read about citizens taking back the country. KILL THEM ALL!!!”

On a personal note, I have been the victim of a smash and grab.  I have been robbed at knife point.  I have had two cars stolen.  Our home has been burgled.  Each of these incidents has had me using very colourful language, they have left me feeling violated and angry.  They have led me to consider leaving South Africa, but never to wishing death on the perpetrators.  This is not because I am a hippy flower child but because the punishment of death would not fit those crimes.
 

I believe in the death sentence.  Donavan Moodley, The Mamalodi Monster, murderers and those who violently abuse children should pay the ultimate price.  I believe that criminals should not enjoy certain privileges such as the right to vote.
 

What has gone wrong with us as a nation when a life has the same value as a handbag?  We lament the fact that life is cheap to murderers but when citizens take the same view, what does that make them?  What is our rainbow nation reduced to in the face of such violent hatred?  How can people ever respect one another and grow from there? 

The comments on that article grieved me. I also wrote a comment expressing my thoughts and the responses shook me.   The level of bile in all the hateful comments is sick.  The worst thing about crime is that it blackens souls, those of the perpetrators and those of ordinary citizens.  How will we ever move forward as a nation?  Is there any hope?

“Cry the Beloved Country”

8 comments

  1. I would suggest that the level of anger towards crime in South Africa has been shown in this story… I must admit I believe theft (no matter how small) should carry heavy prison sentences because of the impact it has on our most fundamental right as human beings, our right to freedom.

    • I absolutely agree, currently those who broke into our house in May are awaiting trial and I hope that they get a stiff sentence

  2. Danies-the-Maniach

    You hope that they get a heavy sentence? Hahaha..this is South Africa dear, a place where everything revolves around money, they will probably be bailed out in no time. The legal systems is just screwed up and our police force who suppose to portect us are commiting a number of crimes and get away with it.

    We have a culture of lazies asses. they sit in their couches and complain about almost everything and the buzz word>>>> ”Apartheid”

  3. Sula if you wrote ‘ I also wrote a comment expressing my thoughts and the responses shook me’ honestly then may I humbly suggest that you go and meet someone whose life has been ruined by crime in order to understand why people feel the way they do. I felt a volcanic wave of anger when I read your comments but something in me decided to calm down and try a gentler approach as that something in me hinted that perhaps you were not being provocative and callous . I have a feeling that you perhaps don’t understand the nature and extent of the problem and what it has done to South African society.Perhaps it’s because your life has not been ruined by crime and you are well off enough to recover fairly easily enough. I have no way of knowing . Our family has been torn to pieces by crime , Literally and figuratively..Just one sad example is my cousin. He was retrenched to make way for someone way less qualified and at a salary he could only ever dream off. . At the age of 47 after 25 years with his company. Do you know how excruciatingly difficult it is for a white male of 47 with a technical background to be re-employed in this country ?. Actually it is not difficult at all. It is simply impossible.. He tried for a two and a half years and then read the writing on the wall. He had no entrepreneurial skills. Not everyone is born with them. He was simply a good technician in his field and so self effacing and proud but humble that he could never have marketed himself out of a paper bag. He called a spade a spade and was never a signed up member of the rat race. South Africa desperately needed people like him. He tried to set up a small business but was was never paid on time for his work and lost money on all his ventures .Anyway he was interviewed for posts overseas ( Gulf ) and 2 received offers. He took the one offer. He had his passport. His savings were severely depleted by this stage and he had cashed in some of his pension monies to keep going at the same standard of living that his kids had been used to. But alles was bakgat. Because he had a job. He did not renew his insurance on his car because he intended to sell it just prior to departure. Anyway a few days before he was due to depart he was mugged .Severely beaten up and his leather jacket stolen . With his passport inside . It was in his jacket because he was going to the bank to setup transfer arrangements to his wife.. Sooo there went the job. And his car. So there he was. No car , no job, medical bills to pay and after a while — no home. His wife and kids went back to her parents. He ended up staying a night here a night there with relatives but could not look people,in the eye. He started to do odd jobs here and there and , so we are told , had been seen begging but the money started to go on the liquid stuff because he could not take money from family members. Do you know what having to rely on charity at the age of 50 plus does to one ?. . And then one day his father in law got a call from the police. . And a few days later his wife ( I still do know if they ever got divorced ) had a letter from the new owners / tenants of their old house with an envelope inside containing a letter saying his passport was ready for collection. 18 months after he re-applied and the day after his funeral. That was his story. I could tell you my story but I would probably be a bit biased I guess. I could tell you the story of all of the others in our family who have been affected by crime but I do hope by now you understand a little something of what and why people felt they did about your post.

    • I appreciate your comment and understand where you are coming from. The story of your cousin is really tragic. The crime situation in our country is tragic. I fear that I have not expressed myself very well and I apologise if that is the case. I hate crime and what it does to us and to our country. Some of the crimes which I have been a victim of have not had a deep impact, others have. When I was in my 20’s I was a single parent, I drove an old Mazda 323, the car was not insured when it was stolen. I did not have the money to replace it, it took years to financially recover. Still what would it make me if I wished the person who stole my car dead? I am reeling from the impact of the anger directed toward me as a resut of my opinion. How can victims of crime turn on one another like this? I wish you a good safe weekend

  4. Thanks for your understanding and thanks for taking my post in the spirit it was written. I would venture to suggest that the way you might deal with the discomfort you feel about the reaction to your opinion is to de-personalize it and regard it simply as the reality of peoples feelings about the level of crime and it’s impact. What people say is more of an expression about the way they feel about crime than about what they feel about you. They don;t even know you so they cannot say anything hurtful about someone they don;t know. If someone you know says something hurtful that will always hurt because they are talking about you — Annabel Louise ( whatever your name is lol ). But the comments were ( and always are ) directed at a notion / opinion / idea. You have put your foot in the water and it is hot. The water is not being personal. It’s just they way it is. And so it is with peoples feelings sometimes. It just the way they are. I wish you too a safe and happy week-end.

    • Yes, I think that we all tend to take things personally and I have to accept that. Thank you for taking the time to respond to me and for taking the time to cool off a bit before your first comment, much appreciated.

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