I'm thinking about changing my surname as another Nel is making headlines- this time for all the wrong reasons. Johan Nel, is bringing shame to the Nels, by seemingly being a next sick, trigger happy Barend Strydom. Under the heading, 'Hy skiet sover hy loop', (He shoots as far as he walks) this teenager is evidently on a chilling crusade to kill innocent black people. His latest victims included a 3 month old baby and a 10 year old boy. It is sad and shocking to look at what is reported. Apparently he afterwards, went to a neighbor and bragged about the fact that he 'attacked' this township and asked for more ammunition. Seemingly he thought that he is doing some-one or some people, he reported to, a favor.
This might sound like an isolated incident, but this is not new and might point to something deeper, darker, more sinister. A few years ago another group of white teenagers, went on the rampage in Pretoria, killing and maiming blacks at sight. At that point (Like now in another article in the Afrikaans media, on Nel) it seems as if the action is minimized and the blame shifted, to blacks (again!). This doesn't help our situation and our young people, who have to deal with the fundamental transformations that are taking place and who evidently, are not coping. What is needed is sustained and real intervention to eradicate the racism that still festers under our skins.
My condolences goes out to the families of these young people that died in this savage attack and we hope and pray for healing and reconciliation, but we also need to work towards cleaning out the festering wounds of the past.
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