Thursday, May 6, 2010

Karma Is A Bitch, And So Am I

I apologize in advance for the tone of this article. Please excuse me, for I'm really angry. You see, yesterday my girlfriend got hijacked, beaten in the face with a pistol, kidnapped and was forced to drive the hijackers around Johannesburg, before being robbed of all her employer's stock in the work van, and her handbag. Hijacking - yes, folks, an everyday reality of life in South Africa. And the sad thing is that this sort of thing just isn't even newsworthy here anymore. Hijackings, rapes, murders - it happens every day, and most of the time, if it makes the news, it is on page 2 or even further back - and shows just how desensitized we have become to the rampaging violent crime plaguing this country. We take it for granted.

I find it ironic that recently New Zealand recorded one murder during the previous year - that's right - ONE - and, to me at least, it is significant that this crime was committed by a South African immigrant! What does that say about South Africa?

I guess I should be "grateful" that she is alive, and was "only" hit in the face with a pistol - not raped (and infected with HIV), and murdered - as happens so often here. It could so easily have gone another way, particularly if they had tried to rape her, as she is trans and mid-way through her surgeries. Imagine what they would have done to her then?

As it is, she is now traumatized, terrified of cars and driving, and is probably going to be paranoid for a good while. She's a tough cookie - and for her to crack like that breaks my heart. That's not going to go away any time soon.

I suppose this is yet another risk we can add to the list of dangers facing gays, lesbians and trans-people in South Africa?

The people who did this are not victims, their actions are not excused by any form of political maneuvering, or anything that happened in the distant past. They are not to be pitied or shown compassion, or allowed to play the "race card" or the "formerly disadvantaged" card - here is the clue why - FORMERLY. They are just too bloody useless to work for a living like other people, full of hatred and violent tendencies and obviously, on some kind of power-trip. And who is going to stop people like this from reveling in their reign of terror ? The police? The same guys who for the most part, couldn't find their own asses with a GPS? The judiciary? The people who let hardened violent criminals out after a three-month state-paid holiday? I won't be holding my breath.

I begin to understand why certain communities in this country tire of the farce that is South African law-enforcement and justice, and take things into their own hands. Which is why, so often it is that thieves, rapists and murderers caught in the townships will never be repeat offenders. And no, it is not the right solution to the problem - but it sure feels good to know the streets are a little safer doesn't it? At least for a little while.

The police, judiciary, prison service and this wind-bag government of ours need to get their act together. 5FM DJ Gareth Cliff coined the right term for them - "barnacles" - because they cling on for the ride, stealing streamlining from the hull of the ship - but contribute absolutely nothing positive to it.

This makes me more determined than ever to go into politics. More of us who feel strongly about making this country (and the world) safe for all people to live in, should. The time for sitting on the sidelines is at an end.

I want to send a clear message to the guys who did this thing, and to those who live like them off the harm they do to others: Karma is a bitch, and so am I. Pray you are never delivered into my hands.


  1. Well said C. Having returned from a brief trip to Europe, coming back to South Africa I must say depressed me. Having to leave a 1st world country to come back to this crime ridden, corrupt, racist and sometimes intolerant country where there is no respect for human lives made me sad and somewhat determined to leave.

    As a South African I do believe that we should try and make a difference both as individuals and as a community. However, I am sick and tired of being branded a racist whenever I publicly voice my difference of opinion when government does reckless and stupid things. I am tired of loosing my black friends who can't understand why I despise Malema. I am tired of being burdened by stories of violent crimes where people are murdered or viciously assaulted especially when they are old or young human beings who are defenseless and frail. I am tired of having to censor my responses to people from the USA, UK, greater Europe and the East when questioned about the state of my country. I am tired of having to force myself to be optimistic about South Africa's future. I am tired of the lie that is the rainbow nation.

    Your are right that maybe more people who are tired like me should stop bitching and go into politics. Maybe if more of us get our acts together, united we can make a difference. So keep us posted and shout when you need support.

  2. I have to agree with you. I lived in Palm Beach, USA for quite a while, travelling all over Europe, UK and other countries. When I arrived back in SA, I actually wanted to hire a guard to protect me.

    I worked for a very well known and one of the worlds most wealthiest households and when I had to arrange for a family member of them to come down, we had to arrange for two private jets to fly, one with just guards in to protect such individuals when they visit this country. I am really shocked and luckily I am leaving this country end of the year, only hear for a short while.

  3. @Gunther Rolf Schubert, it's sad that South Africa is slowly becoming like Nigeria where business people have to secure a security detail prior to arriving in the country. Things wasn't always like this. It begs the question - why are SA's law enforcement agencies not curbing or preventing these violent crime incidents?

  4. My thoughts on your question, Pierre?

    Two reasons come to mind.

    1) Because they are unable to

    2) Because they want the country to be or at least appear to be becoming ungovernable...

    Of course one would have to really wonder why reason 2 might apply... except if you would need to "justify" a crackdown on societal or democratic freedoms...

    Interesting that something like that is beginning to happen now with the pending reintroduction of media censorship... don't you think?

  5. Good grief! Christina, I hope your girlfriend has the strength and courage to overcome the trauma of this abhorrent attack, and that Karma will be forthcoming.Please pass on my best wishes to her for a speedy recovery.

    As a reasonably well-travelled Brit I can honestly say I've never been anywhere that's frightened me, though My ex-husband, an ex-Royal Marine, was somewhat perturbed to find armed security men in a McDonalds in Manilla! (You have been warned.)
    I've made several online friends who live there, and the more I hear from Pierre and the rest the more concerned I am for you all, particularly so about Julius Malema and the impact he is having. We do not know enough in this country, possibly due to our own government being in total disarray at the moment, but from what little I've read he's a greedy, power-crazed and dangerous man. You all have my sympathy.