Anger alone will not suffice

2010-04-24 11:37

THE reaction of a neighbour of the one-year-old girl from Gauteng

who was badly assaulted during a robbery echoes many South Africans’ outrage:

How could they do that to a baby?

The neighbour told the media that the girl was “ pap ” following the ordeal;


hanging limply”.


the time of printing, the toddler was in a critical condition in a ­Johannesburg

hospital. Her caregiver had also been hospitalised.

Anger is certainly justified, but it

will not suffice.

Childline’s Joan van Niekerk makes a valid point: In a country

where it is not unusual for people to be badly harmed or killed without showing

any or minimal resistance, all South Africans need to seriously consider how to

turn around the normalisation of violence.

We believe it starts at home – with a refusal to tolerate any form

of violence.

Too many of us seem to be ­focused on “keeping the peace”; on

avoiding awkward situations – while lives are at stake.

Far too often, domestic violence is tolerated because we would

rather not interfere with a “private issue”.

The same goes for countless other evils in our society. For

example, how is it that many of us find it easy to keep quiet when someone makes

a racist remark in a social setting?

It is time to speak up, no ­matter how uncomfortable the result –

for all our sakes.

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