Criminals run South Africa

2017-04-23 13:32

Criminals run South Africa. The past few weeks have made this crystal clear. Several events demonstrate this.

The Office of the Chief Justice was robbed. Thieves took off with sensitive information on our judges. This is the one institution South Africans look to when their hard-won constitutional rights are under attack.

The President is a thief.

The military was robbed of their weapons. Yes,  criminals in Khayelitsha robbed the military at their base camp and took off with weapons that will most probably be used to terrorise communities in the Cape with an under resourced police force.  Also the Navy was robbed in Cape Town  a while back .

This weekend,  Parliament was robbed. Thieves reportedly took off with computers. The last time I checked,  the South African Police Service looks after the parliamentary precinct.  But parliament was robbed. So now the legislature,  judiciary and the executive have been robbed.

Is this surprising? Not really. Every single day South Africans,  especially the poor,  walk on the streets with the fear that they could be robbed,  raped, and murdered. It doesn't end with just fear. Many South Africans actually get raped,  robbed and murdered.

Many years ago in Site B,  Khayelitsha  we woke up to the  disturbing sound of a woman screaming for help. She had been woken up by men standing over her bed in the shack she called home. They were ready to rape and rob her. Her loud scream caused the hooligans to panic and other residents were banging doors signalling that help is on the way.  And so the hooligans ran away.

She was lucky. In many instances people don't get out of their houses to help. They usually peep through the window and go "help" after the hooligans are done with their business.

The lesson from that is the very sad realisation that many South Africans live in constant fear that they could die. Before you step outside,  you plot a "safe" route. Once you're on the chosen path,  you keep looking over your shoulders. Change direction if you see someone suspicious or start praying when you hear foot steps depending on your location.

This isn't just on the streets. When you get home, you are still not safe.  Especially if you are a woman.  A single mother. That makes you an easy target. And a shack is so easy to break into. A simple kick opens the door.

It's amazing that poor people have accepted this as part of normal Township life. When they get really fed up with crime,  they catch and burn the criminals alive. No wonder this is the case. The institutions meant to protect them are unable to protect themselves. When a nation's last defence is robbed, you know criminals run South Africa. Both in government and on the streets.

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