Striking back at mothertrucking strikers

2012-10-15 11:14

Chris Moerdyk

I cannot get my mind off Gary Stewart, sitting in a truck, minding his own business when some moron throws a brick through the window. He died.

I cannot get my mind off another, as yet unidentified truck driver who was pulled from his vehicle in Manenberg on the Cape Flats and set alight by another moron. He died.

I keep asking myself what I would do if my son or brother were killed by a moron.

Would I turn to the teachings of Christianity, Islam, Judaism and just about every religion on earth, all of which preach tolerance, forgiveness and turning one's back on vengeance?

Or, would I turn to the extremist factions of those same religions and take the vengeance option?

Not a normal society

In a normal society, I suppose it is possible to come to terms with the murder of a loved one by relying on the justice system to bring the culprit to book.

The problem is we are not living in anything like a normal society in South Africa.

I heard on the radio last week that some research or other showed that about half of this country's trade union members believed that it was ok to resort to violence.

I see the authorities standing by twiddling their thumbs while striking truckers torch more than 120 vehicles and think nothing of stoning and killing those of their comrades who have evoked their constitutional right not to strike. I am a great believer in the need for trade union movements. I am not a believer in allowing trade union members to break the law and trash the constitution.

Taking action

Right now, I hear the police say that they are taking action. I hear trades union leaders swearing blind that it is not their members who are causing all the havoc.

Whatever the reality, all I know is that my perception is that the police are doing nothing and that generally speaking, its strikers and not just criminal elements that are breaking the law.  It also seems to me that government is doing nothing. Sorry, my apologies, Government is doing something. At a cabinet meeting last week ministers "noted their concern" with regard to the ongoing illegal strikes and violence.

O wow!  I can just imagine all those strikers, stone throwers and petty criminals cowering in corners and whispering desperately to each other: "back to work everyone, stop throwing stones, leave the trucks alone, go home, lock the doors - cabinet has noted its concern...!"

What government doesn't realise however is that reality means nothing. Perception is everything.

And my feeling as a result, is that if my brother or son was killed by some moron striker throwing bricks or torching trucks, I am not completely convinced that I would have the willpower to just sit back and hope that the law would take its course.

What would I do?

I am pretty sure that if something like that did happen to my family I would spend every resource at my disposal tracking down the culprits. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing illegal about that. It's called civic duty.

But, what could come next worries me.

Assuming I managed to track down the killers and had more than enough evidence to prove guilt - what would I do?

Would I hand them over to the police?

Interesting question, because my perception is that more often than not very little happens when one hands over evidence to the police.

And even if something was done, would I have the strength to sit through years of legal proceedings, because once again, my perception is that the law is so protective of criminals in this country it takes years for a conviction to actually happen.

It worries me that my perception of this country, where violence is condoned by trades union members and where government  doesn't seem to care that some poor fellow has been killed by a moron throwing bricks, will tempt me to take the law into my own hands.

Understanding vigilantes

Frankly, I am very much against vigilantes. I am horrified when frustrated township residents take the law in to their own hands and stone an alleged rapist to death.

But, I can understand what drives them to do that.

This is what really scares me about South Africa today. It has become a country where human life has little or no value. And I am not just talking about criminals; I am including members of political parties and union members.

It scares me, because despite having been brought up as a law-abiding, taxpaying citizen with strong religious convictions, if my son or brother was killed by stone throwing morons I cannot, with any certainty, put my hand on my heart and say that I would not go out and shoot the bastards.
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  • sxp - 2012-10-15 11:30

    Clem Sunter beveel ’n landbou-Kodesa aan, waar alle belanghebbendes deur onderhandeling ’n billike program vir die oordrag van grond kan uitwerk. “Ek en my vennoot, Chantell Ilbury, het in 2008 ’n scenario-beplanning met Zanu-PF gedoen. Ons wenkbroue het gelig toe ’n hoë amptenaar toegegee het dat die afneem van wit kommersiële boere se grond só rampspoedig vir ekonomiese groei was, dat dit nie eens verlangsaam het nie, maar onmiddellik botstil gaan staan het. Dieselfde sal met Suid-Afrika gebeur, indien ons die kwessie nie op ’n regverdige wyse kan aanpak nie.” Sunter sê Suid-Afrika het nou ’n kans van 1 uit 4 om tot ’n mislukte staat te verval en kans van 1 uit 2 om nie meer in die wêreld se topliga van ekonomieë te kan speel nie. Sorry for the Afrikans bit, but then the truth is the truth in any language.

      ntsika.nkabinde - 2012-10-15 13:16

      No Need To apologise for speaking the language you are comfortable with, me to be honest i wont hesitate to that person who will dare burn my truck and harm any of my drivers if i find him, cos its not like they do these things not knowing what they do its wrong, they know for the fact that its wrong, so they must deal with concequences hooligans and low lives

  • stolsie - 2012-10-15 12:47

    Nice piece. I have often times asked myself the same questions and my honest answers scares the crap out of me.

  • repline.rasbanda - 2012-10-15 13:03

    This is so true. One of the guys working in my office actually commented when the strike was over: "Can we now go outside and throw them with stones, and set them alight?"

  • ntsika.nkabinde - 2012-10-15 13:24

    Dictatorship works well in cases like these, this country needs nothing but dictotorship cos if you promote democracy and all those rights(that people don't understand), morals, ethics and decency degrades this country should adopt strict rules, if you steal they cut off your hands, you rape they cut off yo penis, you kill, they hang you, and jail must be jails, not 3 star hotels like they are now

      harald.voney - 2012-10-15 14:07

      yes to all that brother... consequenses for your actions and responsibility is what we need!! but, no to dictatorship please....

      alonso.opinion - 2012-10-15 14:57


  • willemdaniel.venter - 2012-10-15 13:31

    We have two certainties: #1 The ANC will take the country down with them, but surrender power they will not. ZANU-PF style. No African Revolutionary movement ever does. #2 They are taking it down, one bungling (in)-action at a time. Take your pic; education, economy, safety, health.. Our only hope is a confederation of independent authorities/regions, roughly based on ethnic groups, with voluntary central co-ordination. No central authority. No all powerful central government that can spread their incompetence country wide. Let the ANC govern Transkei to a model of human rights and BEE for all the world to see, with no racists to drag them down. Each group responsible for their own services, taxes. The Yugoslavia option. Some of the Yugo states consist of several enclaves, and some areas under combined administration. And there is peace.. I'm sure we are creative enough to sort out something ourselves. We've already got Lesotho, Swaziland, Transkei, Zululand etc. Let us work toward a few more. If we can just get control of our own neighborhoods and the direct services we depend on we've gained a step in the right direction, and insulated ourselves a bit more against this endemic decay around us.

  • deirdre.maule - 2012-10-15 14:03

    We are reaping what was sown ... unfortunately freedom from apartheid was won through violent means, and now for the most people in SA, violent means are a way of life where they end justifies the means.

  • logical.thinker.90 - 2012-10-15 14:10

    That same, slow torturous process of bringing a convicted criminal to book through the justice system would be administered at lightning speed if YOU were found guilty of serving up a dish of murderous revenge. why? I think we all know the answer to that question!

  • norman.lewis.716 - 2012-10-15 14:10

    My thoughts exactly!

  • mart.botha - 2012-10-15 14:17

    Pretty spot on Chris and may I just add, this prevailing mindset of being allowed to make mistakes, and of advocating and promoting second chances and rehabilitation, is just fuelling the chaos we see at times. We all need to understand that we are not 'allowed' to make mistakes, we will yes and we have to face those consequences. We mustn't expect or demand to get a second chance....we must expect that our next mistake may be our last. People who commit these crimes often don't consider jailtime a deterrant because often life in prison is 10 x better than it is on the outside.

  • danny.cohen.315 - 2012-10-15 14:55

    Chris, you could have been my twin brother.......all you said, is exactly how I feel. Shoot the scumbags.

  • agosthino - 2012-10-15 15:04

    Its a sad state of affairs, but unfortunately i have to agree with your view. We as a society have degenerated to the point where one believes that violence is the only answer. This is not the country that Tata Madiba wanted:(

      Ze Don - 2012-10-15 16:50

      it is however the state of affairs he and his crones created with their policies of liberation before education, as well as making the country ungovernable. Now the chickens are coming home to roost and we'll ALL pay the price!

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-15 15:16

    We need to educate children in school about violence etc. It is just a shame many of them don't even finish primary school! Maybe in 20 years we might have less violence?

  • carna.vanrensburg.3 - 2012-10-15 16:27

    This is an explosive column. I will be surprised if it is allowed to stay up here. I'm in no doubt what I will do. Beings like that do not belong in society, and I'll remove them quietly, and I'll sleep well afterwards.

  • Ze Don - 2012-10-15 16:40

    I know what my reaction would be... it might not be legal but it will be just!

  • jacquesdutoit21 - 2012-10-16 07:29

    I would follow that same route Chris. Scary, but true. Nice article.

  • cindy.wrathex.ruthven - 2012-10-16 08:22

    The slow erosion of our collective morality as a society continues unabated. Killers, rapists, arsonists, stone-throwers and thieves are all around us. In nature at dams, mountains, hiking areas, public braaing areas, there is little safety left. Everywhere we turn or go, there is someone waiting to hijack, kill, rape and steal from you. The law-abiding citizen is exhausted and desperate for improvement, to feel safer and to be able to have more movement without the constant fear of being assaulted. Violence is part of our culture now, it crept up, crept into the cities, crept into the residential areas. It is everywhere. Under-qualified police administrators and justice officers make the problem worse, dockets are incomplete or faulty and get put aside, the lack of enough really sharp and observant detectives means evidence at crime scenes are ignored, contaminated or misplaced or misunderstood, additional to corrupt officers who make dockets disappeared. When the president of a country has no formal education, and no thus by deductive logic also no discipline of rational thought process - it all has a work-down effect of stupendous negative consequences for all the people of South Africa. An uneducated mind simply does not have what it takes for analytical thinking and a respect for what it takes to educate a child from pre-primary through to matric and beyond. We are living in the devastating whirlwind created by the rise of the uneducated to kingdom.

  • flysouth - 2012-10-17 19:04

    The zookeepers have disappeared and the animals are out of their cages and now running the zoo! And that goes, not only for unionised 'wekkers' but for our government. Whatever one says about the Nats and their policies - and there is indeed a lot to say! - at least they functioned as effective zoo-keepers. In the absence of any zoo-keepers I think one may be justified in acting as a vigilante in the circumstances described. I would certainly take that course of action, but acting smartly would never be caught - there are ways.

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