I just had my third sleepless night. It all started when I read about a young mother who was murdered in her home less than a kilometre away from where I live with my wife. It hit home because the deceased was the same age as as my wife, 33, and had a two year old child who was at the park with the domestic when she was murdered.
The murderer was the son of a contractor who had worked on the house in the past. The police caught him on a nearby main road with his two accomplices carrying the deceased's laptop and flat screen TV.
I cannot begin to fathom the fear felt by this young mother, who according to the newspapers, fought against her attacker but was stabbed twice and had her throat slit. I cannot also begin to imagine the devastation this cold blooded murder has brought to this family. Her two year old son will now grow up with no mother and forever be in pain because of the actions of individuals who call themselves humans.
My parents came to South Africa in the 60s literally with the clothes on their back and worked extremely hard to bring up my brother and I in a decent environment. We did not have much but we were happy and content with what was provided.
During the unrest in the late 70s, many of my parents fellow countrymen and women emigrated saying that South Africa was on the way down. But my parents decided against that and stayed working in their own business under difficult circumstances. Following 1994, and after the first free democratic election, more of their countrymen and women decided to pack up and leave for safer pastures but my parents again decided to stick it out here as they say opportunities and a better life for us.
That optimism has all but gone now with my extended family barricading themselves in too frightened to leave their houses at night.Crime has become a part and parcel of our lives and we go to great lengths to make sure that we are never a victim of a serious crime like murder. We have been burgled twice before and have had our fair share of minor crimes like our cars and garages being broken into.
I, for one, do not see myself as South African anymore and go to great lengths to make people aware that I am a European first and foremost. I cannot and will not see myself as a South African although I was born in this country. I cannot and will not be seen as a citizen of a country filled with people with so much hate for each other that they would murder a young mother for a laptop and TV! South Africa might have come a long way in the past 18 years but these achievements pale into comparison when one looks at the 300 000 plus people murdered since 1994.
Every five years, I go and renew my European passport and it getting harder and harder to do so due to ever changing rules. I have come to realise that my children will be seen as South Africans as that is the only passport they will be allowed to carry, something that angers me terribly as I do not want them to ever be associated with this country. I would rather prefer that they be countryless than be citizens of one of the the most murderous country that currently exist on this planet.
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.