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How long is a piece of string?

15 February 2013, 10:00

South Africa has kicked off into 2013 with a rather rocky start; with the violent and heinous rape/murders of several women and now the unfathomable Oscar P. tragic scenario unfolding…

 Does it amount to a universal malady whereby society at large is losing the plot? And regarding the SA context, does it amount to a sense of brutality, reactivity or hyper vigilance at the drop of a hat? Does it amount to suspicion, vigilante-ism and taking the law into one’s own hands? Does it amount to poor self- regulation, hyper cortical and adrenaline arousal, or to complete denial and desensitisation? 

 So, how long is a piece of string?  At what stage do people agree that all is not right or okay? At what stage do they acknowledge that a large % of the country’s population may be caught up in the psychological machinations of survival, so that one is either nonchalant, desensitised and in denial, or else reactive and on gun or weapon alert as a form of self preservation?

 How many of us actually have the facts? How much do the media expose and how much are we not privy to? I hear of people who say they have never seen or heard of a crime that affected anyone they know. Well I’m not sure which LaLa Land they were hibernating in. I, for one, can count of horrid events, incidents and traumatic experiences whom people I know have encountered- Not only on the fingers on both my hands but also on all the toes on both my feet…For me the piece of string was long enough for me to ultimately wake up to a reality which I didn’t like, and to make a choice. If you can’t beat it or resolve it and don’t want to ignore it, then you have another choice… if you’re fortunate enough.

 The top 60 most dangerous countries in the world in 2012 according to are reflected here. Note how many of the countries are in Africa and many are neighbouring countries of SA. Would this be seen as a concern if many people flock into SA as illegal immigrants or to seek asylum, which could add to its groaning welfare needs for the many impoverished? Countries in close proximity to SA in the top sixty and ranked in order are as follows:-









Meanwhile cites South Africa as being the most lawless country to live in, followed by Brazil, Colombia, Russia and Somalia.

Tony Leather cites SA at the top most dangerous country to reside in as it is described as the ‘rape capital of the world’ with 118. 3 rapes per 100,000 people, ‘combined with an incredibly high murder rate’.

 South Africa may be called the ‘rape capital of the world’ and yet it does not hit the top 60 most dangerous countries in some surveys. The point I am trying to make is that we don’t want SA to be compared with these top dangerous countries… which have less of an infrastructure, a poorer economy and many in the midst of full blown war. Instead we want to see SA as one of the safer countries in the world. We want people to not be desensitised and apathetic or blasé with their rough and tough veneer and ‘alles sal reg kom’ attitude. Attitudes need to change. Reality needs to kick in and proactive change needs to be affected. The fact that so many South Africans at home and abroad are standing together and making a collective noise about the criminality against women is a good start! It looks as though Mr President has finally taken cognisance; has decided that the piece of string is long enough for him to 'word wakker' - and that he and his cronies may decide to have less lavish feasts and instead roll up their sleeves to start being proactive! Starting with the entire cabinet taking action to reduce violence against women and children is a start... I’m holding my breath…

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