Crime has robbed us of peace and life’s beauty

2015-08-05 06:00


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DURING my youth, growing up in Thabong, my peers and I used to be big athletics fans.

We made countless trips to and from the Western Holdings Stadium in Welkom to watch athletics meetings in cycling, field and track events. Athletes were breaking records as anticipated.

Historical greats like Humphrey “The Ghost” Khosi, William “Rex” Mogoregi and Samuel “Bingo” Ramabodu were world-class competitors.

Rhodesian (now Zimbabwean) Artwell (Mandoza) Mandaza smashed the South African 100 m sprint record of 10,5 seconds, clocking 10,3 seconds in 1969 at the Western Holdings Stadium.

On our way to the stadium, we would appreciate the homes in former white suburbs like Doorn, Bedelia and Dagbreek, boasting with beautiful gardens and paved driveways. We crossed along schools and churches that were not fenced, but it never crossed our minds to steal anything.

Today, those driveways are no more. High concrete slabs, brick walls and palisades have replaced that beauty.

More and more people are spending more of their money on security than on food and other valuables. More than ever before, security has become a basic necessity.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s in Thabong, milk delivery men distributed milk in fragile bottles that were left on our doorsteps X and their payment was then left on that same veranda, under the empty bottles.

Gardening tools, hose pipes, rakes and garden forks were left lying around the yard, but nobody thought of stealing them. Our mothers washed clothes and left them on the line to dry X with nobody watching it.

We no longer see beautiful copper post boxes, because they are being ripped off and sold to scrap metal dealerships.

You’ll wake up to the sound of running water, only to find that your copper pipes and taps have been stolen.

Doctors’ practices and lawyers’ offices used to have the names of practitioners written on beautiful copper plates. Such beauty can no longer be there, as thieves help themselves to them. Not even the dead are spared.

Tombstones and caskets are stolen and recycled.

Churches used to be respected places of worship where the congregation met to sing and praise the good Lord. But churches, like schools, are no longer safe.

High-security housing with electric wires are needed.

At least 60% of the households fear house-breaking, 50% fear home robbery and 40% fear street robberies.

These statistics were recently released by Pali Lehohla, Statistician-General for Statistics South Africa. Of the 30 000 households that took part in the survey between 2012 and 2013, 37% feared becoming victims of murder and 31% feared sexual assault. Most crimes occur at night, through burglary.

This high level of violent crimes and home robberies call for private firm security as well as alarm systems.

Every two and a half minutes, someone’s home is broken into, someone is raped and someone is murdered in South Africa. Crime has robbed us of our value and peace of mind.)

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