Injustice put into perspective

There is nothing which grates my nerves more than seeing the injustice of the World around me, and not yet being in the position to actively do something about it, for example, being able to strip someone of his human rights when he performs an act of barbarism like violently assaulting, raping or murdering someone.

Earlier this week was one of those days which really tested my faith in humanity.

This is South Africa, and being a “First World Country” on a Third World continent has it’s challenges.  Especially when the minority subjugated the the majority and treated the majority as second class citizens in their own country.

The relevance of this statement comes into play in modern South Africa where most days, you won’t have to search through a paper to find an article about some sort of violent crime which has taken place.  Most of these cases involve the majority of South Africans, yes, the black South Africans, and it is not because they are sub-standard people, but because of the failure which was Apartheid, which only got amplified by the failure of our current ANC led Government to address these issues for various reasons.

The majority of the South African prison populace are black, and as I stated before, not because they are bad people by default, but because the system created an environment for them to fail.  The system has successfully created people who don’t value human life. The so called Justice System and our very own progressive Constitution has failed us!

The reason I say this is because a human life in South Africa is worth less than R10, and our so called progressive Constitution hampers our Justice System from actually being effective and deterring such negative and inefficient criminal social behavior.

These broken people of our society are shoved into our already crumbling correctional services facilities which are overpopulated, under staffed and rife with corruption, just to be victims themselves again of another sub-section of the system which put them there in the first place.

Well, these are the normal people of South Africa I am talking about.  The “have not’s”, because if you are part of the few in South Africa who are financially well endowed, politically connected or some sort of a celebrity it seems that the normal Status Quo spares your from these horrors.

In 2009 South Africa ranked ninth in the World in terms of prison population with an astounding 160 000 inmates in 237 active correctional centres which was build to only facilitate 114 822 people.

While we struggle with overcrowding like this for the “normal” man on street, it seems, that when you are Oscar Pistorius or Radovan Krejcir that life on the inside is all but cramped and boring.

Today an article was release along with a video of the odd jailbird couple playing soccer and having enough space on their own.  It seems, that young Oscar has special needs because of his condition and that he can’t really walk around on his prosthetic legs and needs a wheelchair, hence he was moved into a section of the prison where only he and Radovan are kept, or should I maybe rather say entertained.

Once again, the “Have’s” has given the middle finger salute to the “have not’s” by clearly making a distinction between the way they get punished, and the way the “have not’s” get punished in jail.

The fact of the matter remains that both these men are killers in their own right, and they are enjoying a “day a the spa” compared to those other killers who didn’t have the luxury of fancy high paying lawyers to fight their cases on their behalves.

Where is the justice in something like this?  How much does “justice” cost, and is the only requirement to “find” justice a big fat cheque book?

I really feel pity for the people of our country suffering under this injustice, because it creates the perception that if you are wealthy and powerful that you can literally get away with murder, like for example, the “water tight case” against Shrien Dewani which in the end saw South Africans end up in this overcrowded broken system and Shrien walking away a free man.

This also creates the perception by the political elite who are financially well set that they are immune to criminal prosecution, well, if you have enough money and power of course, just ask our President Zuma and his ex-financial advisory, the terminally ill  Shabir Sheik who is most likely enjoyed a round of golf today.

It really gutted me, seeing Oscar and Radovan so casually enjoying their game of soccer while there are so many other men stuck in over crowded community cells where there is no privacy and where rape and violent assault is common.

For me personally, there is no justice in such a system, and I hope that my fellow South Africans will come to see this, and how deeply something like this impacts the mindset of an already broken people.

Fight against injustice where ever you see it, never stay quiet

Disarming the Law Abiding Citizen in South Africa

For some time now gun control has been in the background, every so often moving into the public stage again when something terribly goes wrong, for example the Columbine High School massacre, and then it gets obscured again by various other issues which arise.

Sadly, the call for stricter gun control is back in light of the Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp tragedy, and now the African Nation Congress Women League and various other parties are calling for it.

I think this, is a very very very bad idea, particularly in South Africa

It would be nothing else than a collective suicide if South African law abiding citizens give up their right to defend themselves given the current state of affairs in South Africa, and the utter inhumane violent crimes which are purported against the citizens of South Africa by murderers and rapists.

In March of 2011 when Lidiwe Sisulu was still Minister of Defense it was reported that 82 000 weapons were missing from the South African National Defense Force.

In the same year it was reported that South African Police Services has lost 20 428 weapons since 2004.

Now the question begs to be asked … “Where are these weapons?”

Certainly, these weapons won’t be with the average, run of the mill Law Abiding Citizen since he would not have a need for it.  He would have his own licensed weapons I would think, since he is a model citizen of South Africa.

No, it makes more sense to assume that some of the weapons were sold and left for neighboring countries while others have been found in the hands of local thugs and criminals,  many of them used in violent attacks on our fellow citizens.

Of course one could argue that the weapons which were not already found in the system simply just got lost, but given the track record which the SAPS has and the corruption allegations which surface regularly against members of the Police, I’m going to go with to go with the first scenario.

It would then stand to reason that if you disarm the average citizen, that you would make him and easy target, effectively painting a bulls-eye on his back,  for those who would have the need for unlicensed weapons, like criminals.

If a criminal already has very little or no moral values, with nothing to lose or fear, then what would deter him from coming into your home while you sleep to liberate some of your earthly possessions?  Heaven forbid he enters your home with a darker, more sinister plan in mind.

Are you simply going to ask him nicely to leave you and your family in peace?

No, you can’t … as Dr Marthin Luther King once said,  “It is criminal to not teach a man how to defend himself”.  You have to protect those who you love, those dear to you, the innocent.

Now, what if this criminal was armed with a firearm?

It would basically mean mean that we will be settings the wolves upon the flock, and this cannot be allowed to happen.

We must not forfeit our rights to defend ourselves because the Government can’t assure us that our lives will be safe in their hands.  They blame all sorts of failed policies, their favorite of course, blaming the violent nature of South Africa on Apartheid, but never looking inwards, to what their corruption and greedy grabs for high paying jobs, flashy cars and fortress mansions projects down onto the still suffering, still marginalized, still uneducated, economically and socially devastated, masses.

Masses who need to eat, who need to feed their children. Masses who get pitiful handouts in the form of social grants, like the famous “Baby Grant” without permanent solutions to their grievances from Government.  Instead they get empty promises, some lip service and a whole lot of dancing while singing “struggle” songs which could incite violence, like Zuma’s favorite struggle song “Umshini wami” and others like “Dubula Ibhunu” …

Remember, criminals didn’t start out as criminals, society and Government allowed this to happen …

The normal citizens then become the easy targets, those of the diminishing middle income group living in Suburbia and the poor who are still stuck in informal settlements.  Never would these criminals try to steal from very well fortified mansions of political leaders who are guarded by guards with automatic machine guns purely because it is just not that easy when someone is shooting back at you, and you might actually lose the only thing you have left, your life.

Government has failed us, and now they want us to give up one of the tools we us in order to protect ourselves because they cant?  Certainly, they must be mad!

Fight the Government with everything you have on this …  think about it this way, had there been no violent crime, or a reason to own a weapon, then Oscar Pistorius might not have been in the situation he is in because he would not have had a gun.

The gun and Reeva are the only true innocent objects in this sad scenario.  The gun didn’t fire itself, it was fired by Oscar, Oscar pulled the trigger … the gun didn’t fire itself.  The fact of the matter is that this slogan rings very true.

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”

So people, keep your guns, fight for self preservation, in fact, if possible, arm yourself, go for training.  Protect yourselves and those you love.

Heaven forbid that we would need to protect ourselves from the Government or our fellow countrymen someday when our country slides down into total anarchy …

Remembering Anene, Remembering Andries …

Last week Jacob Zuma delivered the State of the Nation address at Partliment’s opening and yet again he failed to address the real issues at hand in South Africa, but instead he spoke about TAX reforms which would just squeeze the already overburdened taxable population and the ultra poor just more.

One would have thought that more people would have something to say about SONA, hell, one would have thought everyone in South Africa would have had something to say about the State of the Nation with the 42c petrol hike, which is now going to be followed by a 87c hike, the partly State owned utility company, Eskom, who wants to increase it’s tariffs with 16%, the fact that Government lied to us about the E-Toll saga, of course there was little other things like the R250 million (and climbing) Nkandla and the R1.5 Billion spent on the Road to Nkandla  which Government upgraded under the National Key Point act of 1980.

I thought people would be fuming around the mouths about horror crimes like the violent rape and disembowelment of Anene Booysen, the rape of a 1 year old toddler in Limpopo, the rape of a 91 year old Gogo (grandmother) in Kwa-Zulu Natal, the violent murders on farmers, on the elderly, on children … but no …

Sadly, these horrific crimes and injustices against the population of South Africa are not the main focus of our macabre society.

The reason for this is our collective morbid fascination with the Oscar Pistorius incident which transpired in the early morning of Valentine’s Day.

Before I explain why, let me firstly say this though.  I feel for the families involved, no matter which way you look at it, it is a terrible and traumatic event, and nobody who is closely involved will ever be the same, and I wish everyone the best and that justice will prevail.

Here, is where my interest in the incident ends.  The reason for this is that the media hype over this incident has overshadowed everything which in my opinion, carries more weight than a single death, accidental or not.

You see, Anene Booysen is a 17 year old colored girl from Bredasdorp in the Western Cape. She went out with her friends, and then she left with her ex-boyfriend and a couple of his friends.

She was brutally raped, disemboweled, her legs broken and left to die by her assailants.

Then there is the brutal death of Andries Tatane, who died in a service delivery protest by the hands of the South African Police Force in Ficksburg because Government had failed to deliver on the promises they made since the fall of Apartheid, they were stuck in the same economic wilderness as before the fall of Apartheid, some even worse.

Every single day, there about 18000 murders in South Africa apart from the murders we are almost top of the log when it comes to violent rapes.

Rape.co.za puts the amount of reported cases of rape between 2009/2010 at 68 332. Because not all cases get reported to authorities this number may actually be much higher.

That is about 50 murders and 187 reported cases of rape per day on a population which is estimated at 50 million.

India, on the other has, with a population of 1.2 billion reports about 72 cases of rape per day.

Clearly one can see that there is something very wrong with our society, and this is where my grief lies.

The populace in general is making a big scene about Oscar Pistorius case and totally forgetting the marginalized John Doe’s on the street who are also victims to these violent crimes.  Not only are they forgotten, but it seems that everyone is avoiding the cause of these symptoms of our corrupt and amoral society.

This brings me to the cause of these cancerous symptoms, the ANC led Government with Jacob Zuma at it’s head.  It has failed us, the people of South Africa.  They have neglected the upliftment of South Africa as a whole through their never ending internal “struggle” for the spoils of war after the fall of Apartheid and their lust for power.

Liberation songs like “Umshini wami” which translates into “Bring me my machine gun” were sung by our President Jacob Zuma, the same Zuma who has not yet answered for corruption charges brought against him before he took office,  and other well known former political allies like Julius Malema who once swore to start killing in the name of Zuma, and who has now fallen out of favor along with being investigated for abusing his political ties for financial gain.

No, sadly only those with some sort of political connection and the politicians themselves got uplifted while the rest of the country suffered the evils of corruption and failed administration of State resources.

Corruption and mediocre policies, and the implementation of these policies, lies at the the very core of our sick society and yet we decide to make a fuss about one person who has been killed,  but we can’t save a second or two to think about the hundreds who are effected every day through violent crime?

We can’t spare a thought about the State of our Nation and the fact that all the politicians from the various political parties walked down a red carpet in fancy evening wear for the opening of Parliament like famous Hollywood actors on their way to the Oscars? (I assure you, no pun intended)

Something is very very wrong in our society, and I urge you to start thinking critically, stop being negative towards each other and have a little more patience with one another.

Look past the differences and focus on the things we have in common, and one thing we have in common, from rich down to the poor man on street is that we are “Gatvol”.  Gatvol of poor service delivery, gatvol of potholes, gatvol of the murders, the rapes, the spade of violent crimes.

We are gatvol because we have to pay premium prices to give our kids a decent education in a private school because the public education system has failed our children, the next generation to take over from us.

We are gatvol because we have to pay premium prices to be able to go to private hospital because public hospitals are death traps.

Now think about those who do not have the finances to afford these premiums?  They are just as gatvol, and everyone is yearning for change!  This is our common ground from which we can build.

The change we are yearning for will only come once we as a nation stick together and see past each other differences, it will only happen when we realise that we are all connected in the bigger scheme of things and that we are dependent on each other.

I beg you, the reader, to be positive, to start becoming involved in these pressing socio-economic and political issues and to voice your concerns.  Don’t be scared to enter into conversation and most of all, treat those around you the way you would want to be treated, then relationship build on mutual respect will prosper and we will be able to reach out to one another.

We can build a better South Africa, one in where there will be no more symptoms of poor governance like the rape on Anene, like the murder of Andries, the massacare at Marikana.

Let us all stand together against Government and keep these people like Anene and Andries and all the other countless of people who have been victims of violent crime in our hearts, lets draw strength from the sacrifices they and their families have made and lets fight for our country!

Be heard as one voice