African men becoming monsters

Lehlohonolo Nyetanyane, Social observer  Foto:
Lehlohonolo Nyetanyane, Social observer Foto:

WE have come to the end of women’s month that has been celebrated with much deserved fanfare.

The message has been unambiguously sent to South African men of all races to treat our young girls, sisters, mothers and grandmothers with respect befitting a human being.

Nevertheless, allow me to register my utter disgust with the provocative and violent nature that characterises a South African man of our time. There is a perturbing statistic that every seventeen seconds a woman is raped in South Africa.

Census 2011 reported that there are about 26 582 769 female people in South Africa, meaning women far out-number men in South Africa. Surprisingly, South African prison population is conspicuously male with our country being ranked seventh in the world as far as the highest number of people serving prison sentences is concerned.

In his speech on women’s day, President Jacob Zuma said “In the period between 2010 and 2013, the courts have imposed 1 114 life sentences to those found guilty of serious crimes”. Men of varying ages are serving time for heinous crimes such as murder, armed-robbery, rape and assault (gbh ) to mention a few.

As a man, I would naturally be expected to be chauvinistic in thinking and orientation. I could have chosen to ignore the anger that dominates men’s psyche because I’m one of their own.

By virtue of being a man, I am less likely to be at the receiving end of men’s gruesome behaviour. Game rangers unanimously agree that in the animal kingdom, males that assume the role of fathers are the ones that provide food and protection for their entire clan.

They inculcate discipline and ensure that none trespass into their territory. Out of a sense of moral integrity, I have therefore chosen to highlight and explore some of the most brutal incidents that were carried out by South African men across the racial lines.

Making international headlines in November 2010, 28-year-old Anni Dewani, a British tourist on honeymoon in Cape Town was murdered in cold-blood by three South African men.

The three men; Xolile Mngeni, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Zola Tongo were allegedly hired by Shrien Dewani to orchestrate and execute his wife’s murder. The three South Africans have since been handed hefty sentences and are already languishing in prison, while the state awaits Shrien Dewani’s extradition to account for murder of his wife to whom he was married for just two weeks.

Another case that portrayed men as monsters was the bodily mutilation and gang rape of Ina Bonnette by three men who were hired by her estranged husband on 03 January 2012. The man dubbed “The Modimolle monster”, Johan Kotze and his three accomplices have been sentenced to life imprisonment by the Pretoria High court on 17 July 2013.

A glamorous international model, Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead on 14 February 2013 by her boyfriend at the Silver wood estate in Pretoria. A Paralympic gold-medallist, Oscar Pistorius admitted to shooting four times through a bathroom door thinking the elegant model was an intruder. Of all days, Steenkamp died on Valentine’s Day when she was supposed to be romanticised. The state is yet to prove if Steenkamp’s murder was pre-meditated.

A High level of education and professional fields has not shrugged-off the monster-mentality from most of our brothers. Statistically, South African Police Services recorded 64 514 cases of sexual offences in the 2011/2012 period. The immoral trend of male teachers raping and impregnating teenage school girls still continues unabated.

Innocent girls are coerced into sexual relations with their teachers and are sadly left with fatherless children. Health professionals such as male nurses have recently made front page headlines in Limpopo and Eastern Cape for sexually preying on terminally-ill patients.

In lieu of redeeming lost souls, a number of Pastors are incarcerated for raping and indecently assaulting their congregants, while sangomas are behind bars for doing the same to those seeking spiritual guidance.

Mido Macia originally from Mozambique, was hand-cuffed to a police van and dragged along a stretch of road for parking his vehicle on the wrong side. He suffered severe injuries to his body that allegedly led to his death in police custody.

Macia was a victim of nine male police officers stationed in Daveyton. South African Anxiety Society has reported that 60% of suicides are committed by men in the security cluster, particularly the police.

Big up, to all ladies in these demanding professions who perform their duties immaculately. They remain committed to their professional ethics, not using stress and work-related pressure as an excuse for barbarism.

As for Vavi, you don’t sleep with a married woman and cry political conspiracy! Consensual or not, you dare not dishonour somebody’s wife like that and be diplomatic about it.

To all men who have turned our beloved South Africa into a breeding ground for monsters, please refer to Michael Jackson’s 1991 hit song when he mellifluously sang “Heal the world; make it a better place for you and for me and the entire human race”.

PULL QUOTE: As a man, I would naturally be expected to be chauvinistic in thinking and orientation. I could have chosen to ignore the anger that dominates men’s psyche because I’m one of their own.

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