A while ago I wrote an article called: Proudly South African. NOT! Some readers were annoyed at my lack of patriotism. Here’s an update: I’m still not Proudly South African.
The brutal rape and murder of a young woman, Anene Booysen of Bredasdorp, has left many people outraged and shocked. Although I can understand the outrage; I cannot fathom why the “Proudly South African” sector of our society, should be “shocked.” You should be used to it by now.
According to statistics from Radio 702, someone like Anene is raped every FOUR MINUTES – right here in our “Proudly South African” country. What would happen if your mother, wife, girlfriend, or daughter, was raped every FOUR MINUTES? Would you still only be shocked and outraged? And Proudly South African?
Reasons for rape are bandied about – everyone seems to be an expert. This ranges from alcohol abuse to the theory that rape is a reproductive strategy of low-dominance males.
To me, however, the reason for these despicable crimes comes down to two things: Lack of moral integrity and lawlessness.
Lack of moral integrity
The majority of South Africans grew up with no, or very mediocre, role models. They were taught to burn down their own schools; trash public property; burn trains; necklace and stone those who did not join in the “struggle,” treat the authorities (including parents and adults) with contempt – and that going to jail would turn you into a hero. Young girls were never treated as equals.
I remember our neighbour’s black housekeeper was hospitalised for a long time after she was assaulted by a group of black kids – because she was carrying shopping bags with groceries for her family. At that stage white supermarkets were boycotted by blacks.
She was left blind, because of this incident. The culprits were never caught.
How many cases do you know of where teachers have raped school kids, Proudly South African?
“Studies show nearly 90% of victims are raped by family members, friends or other people they know. Girls are not safe at home or at school, with many reports of teachers having sex with students anxious to get good examination results.”
Lesson: If responsible adults do not teach moral values to their children; it will come back to bite them. We can see the results of this daily in our country.
Lawlessness and lack of self-disciple go hand in hand.
Stopping across the white lines, or not at all, at a red traffic lights, is a sign of both. I see the Proudly South African drivers doing this all the time. If we cannot even do the simplest and most basic of things (such as obeying the laws of the road), forget about the rest of the misdeeds that are rife in our society.
People KNOW that they can get away with breaking the law.
“Official statistics show less than 10% of reported sexual crimes result in a successful prosecution, another reason many are reluctant to report rape.”
“Professor Rachel Jewkes, a doctor heading the Women's Research Unit of South Africa's Medical Research Council, said 37% of surveyed men in Gauteng said they had raped a woman or child, according to a study. Seventy-five percent of them first raped a teenager.”
I would like to think that one of the reasons why my children have never committed crimes (that I know of), and have respect for their elders and the law of the land, is that I have tried to instil a sense of morality and integrity in them, from an early age.”
Some are calling for the death penalty, penis cutting, life in prison, and other forms of punishment for the barbarians that commit rape and murder. I don’t think that this will have any effect at all.
The most effective way to reduce rape for the long term is by raising the social and economic status of women and the consciousness of men.
Where and how should this be done?
It starts at home – yours and mine. Maybe, one day, we can ALL be Proudly South African.
In the meantime, just call me “Disgusted South African.”