Monday, March 24, 2008

Crime destroys our common human-ness

Just heard that a young member of our church was forced off the road tonight, by hijackers, smashing his recently-bought car. This is so unfair, so wrong, so inhumane! So many of us can tell a tale of a botched hi-jacking, robbery, break-in, etc. These stories splattered across our newspapers make me sick, it makes me angry. Last night a Muslim friend lammented, that she's simply not interested in reading newspapers anymore and I agreed: it's all about violent crime. But what can you say or do-when it's happening to every-one? What are we to say, when our police chief, himself are so deep in the muck, that you cannot distinguish him from the rest of the crooks? What about our amnestified struggle hero, Robert McBride Head of Metro (Ekurhuleni) who, irrespective of whether he will be found guilt or not, presents himself, looking like a 'skollie', surrounded by booze and characters that look like the family members of Cosa Nostra? In the mean time, we, the people, have to brace ourselves for the meanstreets of Joburg. We say a prayer, go out to do an honest day's work, we go to church, feed our dog and hide Easter eggs-we deserve to buy a nice car, to stay in a nice house and to smile at the neighbour. Yet, then we find these damned parasites, who roam our streets, invade our homes, our private a public space preying on our hard work. We start to despise them, start to loathe 'them', the criminals, who are out there everywhere, waiting to pounce. They are the ones who subvert our hard-earned democracy, who steals people's dreams, our dreams. This friend of mine worked so hard to eventually buy his first car, he spend time and his money with his ride and was so proud of it and the sound system-as a true coloured. How can one simply turn the other cheek?

For me, it means that we support and uphold the rule of law, we should support and do everything we can, to strenthen our faltering criminal-justice system. It is in this context therefore, that I also want to voice my strong objection to the plans to incorporate the Scorpions into the useless, Jack Daniels' inspired SAPS.
The Petition to stop government to incorporate Scorpions into the SAPS, need to be supported by everyone. I signed it and will look for more efforts to support in preventing this madness. ( With the current purging going on within the ruling party, it's not sure whether we are farting against an hurricane, but we need to do something to keep our sanity) Anyway, this plan is evidently an effort to protect corrupt and criminal parasites in high places, which will lead to less efficiency in dealing with organised crime-leaving people like you, me and my friend, to our own devices in fighting off these vile vultures.

If Human Rights Day was about maintaining the legacy and spirit of the people who lead the protestmarches to police stations, upholding a criminal apartheid system, on that fatefull day, 21 March 1960, then we need to conceptualise a new broad-based people's movement rising up against the injustice of these unwelcome criminal rodents and criminal networks, gnawing away our democratic freedom. I am not interested in sectional reactionary - Afriforum-type black bashing, masquerading as progressive civic action. My friend was 'black like me', the other one who's sister was murdered in Ennerdale, etc the same. Crime affects us all, it's not another sinister plan by the ANC government, aimed at Afrikaanspeaking whites, it's aimed at the heart of who we are-at our common humanity. When we start to fear each other, fight each other and loose each other, we loose ourselves. Criminal violence destroys our common humanness, hence we need to find a way to transcend political pointscoring to stand up against this, together. There is no way out, we're going to need a broad-based alliance to take back our human-ness. If there is one challenge that can catapult our nation beyond our racial sectionalism, then it could be our quest for the safety and peace within our borders, fighting off the criminal enemy. We've been able to overcome in the past, we can do it today, we simply have to.
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