Would you like a Little Violence with your Coffee?

21 Jun

sa flagSouth Africa a land of breathtaking beauty, rich cultures, warm and loving people and impossible senseless violence.

I am as mad as hell today. Yesterday a person very dear to me was robbed at gunpoint. They are alive and only ‘slightly harmed’ physically – and in this country, that’s a miracle!

This makes 4 women in the last year, that I know personally, that have been violently attacked.

Now one may say that violence against women or violence in general is to be found all over the world so what makes South Africa different?

The difference is that with the amount and level of violence we should be at war – but we’re not, this is just how we live. There is no sense of restraint in the attacks of criminals in this country. Some of course are drug related, and because of that, violence almost makes sense – most however are not.

Rape, child rape, murders, muti killings, necklacing – these are everyday stories in our papers.

We live with electric fences, burglar bars, security guards, guns, alarm systems – all to no avail. We don’t walk around at night, can no longer enjoy mountain walks – too many muggings, and lock and bolt ourselves in our homes to keep safe. Very few of us are stupid enough to carry cash, and those that do are relived of their burden when going to ATM’s to withdraw.

There are very few places today where our kids can ride their bikes in safety. Gone are the days when parents waved their kids goodbye and they went out to explore the world. The amount of missing children in this country is staggering. Not only are they sexually assaulted by ‘normal’ predators but there is still in this day and age a strong belief that raping a child will cure people of aids to say nothing of being murdered by witchdoctors for tribal medicines!

The sad thing is that the average South African regardless of race or creed, is really warm and open and loving. The talent in this country in terms of art and culture and sport and literature is quite frankly awe-inspiring.

So where did we all go wrong?

Did the struggles of apartheid de-sensitize us? Are we just a brutal nation? Is it just a small element as the government would have us believe?

All I know for sure is that I have taken to avoiding the newspapers as much as humanly possible. I cannot bear to see another burnt body, murdered woman or broken child.

South Africa has so much to offer, so much passion and colour and life, but day by day we are surrounded by death and destruction – my heart breaks at the violence – truly.

I have no answers, but I’m still looking ….


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8 responses to “Would you like a Little Violence with your Coffee?

  1. Johnny Ojanpera

    June 26, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Our countries are very similar in that respect. I know so very little about the current state of South Africa. I hope you can share more.

    • theforestscribe

      June 26, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      just wrote a small tribute to nelson mandela as he is dying

  2. Johnny Ojanpera

    June 22, 2013 at 1:09 am

    I hear stories of that often in your country. I live in one of the most crime ridden cities in the US, and though I don’t live in the more dangerous parts, we still have to keep our eyes open. I’m not sure what the solution is but I do know that when the economy tanks, the crime goes up. We have to lock our air conditioners up so people won’t steal $20 worth of copper out of a $3,000 unit; among other things. They are closing schools to build prisons now. Guns are a prerequisite nowadays. Sad. I like this template btw.

    • theforestscribe

      June 25, 2013 at 6:03 am

      Well violence is linked to the economy but here its also linked to the ‘de-sensitise factor’. The poorest have been forced to live like animals in conditions you would not believe, little wonder they lose their sense of humanity, oh and like template too!

      • Johnny Ojanpera

        June 25, 2013 at 1:55 pm

        It’s hard to imagine for us “rich” Americans. My trips into Central and South America have shown me what third world conditions are and what it looks like when people are left to survive with nothing. It’s life changing. I wish I had the resources to do more. Maybe one day… (I just use d a pic I took in the back yard for my header) Thank you.

      • theforestscribe

        June 26, 2013 at 5:51 am

        Well the sad thing is that South Africa is mineral and product rich! We’re not a poor country – our greed and fear has destroyed us

  3. derek gallacher

    June 21, 2013 at 9:53 am

    I’m writing about such violence you mention and l share your love of the country and the people,even though l only spent two years there l gleaned a good understanding of the problems.The old apartheid and unrealistic expectations of the new regime gell to form a fragile society.A policeman told me after a serious break-in to get a gun,the ex-wife said lf we have to get a gun to survive,we are in the wrong country,and left.To live in an ivory tower as a hostage to fortune,is no life.

    • theforestscribe

      June 21, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      true words those, and the violence is not ‘normal’ – we still have necklacing even today!!!!


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