It’s Time To Take The Battle To The Criminals

It’s Time To Take The Battle To The Criminals.

The first responsibility of any government is to protect its citizens. The ANC government is not doing well in this department. The level of violent deaths targeting women and children in South Africa has reached unprecedented levels. The monstrous brutality of the perpetrators of this murderous violence exceeds that found in the animal kingdom. Animals don’t do that to one of their own.

A jealous male lover who repeatedly assaults his partner until she dies is worse than an animal; a group of rapists who once they have satisfied their lust burns the victim to death are soulless; when eleven men gang-rape a pregnant woman we can only ask for divine intervention. South Africa is an exceptionally violent society and the fact that it has become a constitutional democracy does not alter the fact.

I was born in Alexandra township in the early sixties, a melting pot of ethnic groupings in which the infamous Msomi gang reined supreme? I was brought up in Tembisa, a sprawling township surrounded by hundreds of shacklands that have redefined the geography of the east rand. I was brought up on a strict diet of violence in these two townships at a time when gangs ruled the roost and black life was generally cheap. Fearless and violent hard men slaughtered one another with gay abandon in gang warfare. Women and children were generally spared as these madmen fought a useless and meaningless war just to control some territory whose land they did not even own. Those hard men would not touch women and children. In a sense, apartheid South Africa was less violent to women and children as compared to our democratic dispensation.

Today my blood curdles when I read about the heartless rape of women in Soweto and the devilish manner in which they are killed. While this crime against women takes place all over the country, what has been happening in Soweto in the last few months is worrisome. From roving taxis kidnapping vulnerable women and raping them inside the vehicle, we are now observing a hordes of marauding brutes raping and killing young women in the most brutal of ways. The world famous township is virtually under siege from barbaric and intoxicated young men who are completely out of control as they stab, shoot and rape their way to hell.

The spate of violent rapes and killings of women in Soweto is perhaps an indication of how South African society is descending into total lawlessness and anarchy. The African National Congress has been in power for 23 years now. The leading liberation movement in the country must take full responsibility for the sick society we live in. Unemployment is at an all time low, education is failing, the economy is in free fall and crime has gone out of control. If the ANC is still leader of society, it must do everything in its power to arrest alarming levels of crime that are afflicting South Africa, failing which the people are likely to take the law into their own hands. Vigilantism thrives in a situation whereby ordinary citizens believe that the state is incapable of protecting them against violence, rape and murder. They devise means to defend themselves.

I sometimes wonder if the men who brutalize women have mothers and sisters. Do they imagine what their mothers and sisters would go through a gang rape? Do they still have hearts that empathize with the weak and defenseless? Do they have consciences that human beings are imbued with? Were they brought up by a woman? Don’t they have natural human affection towards their sisters? Most importantly, do they sleep at night after their dastardly deeds? Are they human?

Our democratic state is failing. Our capacity to fight crime and protect the citizens has been weakened by our corrupt government. The police, the crime investigating agencies and prosecutorial institutions have been compromised by self-serving politicians. As I write this piece the South African police are at war with the police watchdog IPID. Instead of working together to fight crime, the two agencies are at each other’s throats as a result of corruption, a cancer that is eating away at our society. The Commissioner of Police is at war with the Director of the police watchdog and their guns are trained on each other instead of pointing them at the criminals. How can we win against the criminals when our crime-fighting agencies are at war with each other?

Government aside, will the people of South Africa rise against this barbarism. We are all painfully aware that the “human” animals preying on our mothers, aunts, grandmothers and sisters don’t come from a far away planet. It is our badly brought up sons and brothers high on Nyaope, Mandrax and alcohol who are running amok and terrorising our communities. It is the boy next door who despite the fact that he has no employment, changes cars that have been violently hi-jacked and whose owners lie in mortuaries. These monsters terrorizing our communities live with us, eat with us, sing with us, dance with us and are known to all of us. We just lack the courage to fight them.

During our heroic struggle against apartheid our communities were organized, cohesive and strong. We made our townships ungovernable in defiance of the machinations of the racist apartheid regime and and its invincible army and security forces. We were strong communities united against the common enemy which was apartheid. It is time to once again unite against our common enemy – crime and criminals. We need to retrieve our whistles that we used to blow when under attack by the enemy during the struggle. We need to revive street committees to once again take control of our lives. Those terrorizing our communities are a cowardly minority that we should pulverize with our united action. Enough is enough!

Source: Sello Lediga