Tuesday, 3 October 2006

The thick end of the Wedge

Posted: October 03, 2006 01:06

JOHANNESBURG - HAVE you or someone you love been attacked and/or robbed at gunpoint yet? No? Feeling left out? Never fear. Your coming ordeal is inevitable. The crime wave in Johannesburg is now so bad, so pervasive, that the count of friends and acquaintances of mine who have been attacked is now running at about two a week. And I don’t know that many people. I know three CEs of JSE-listed companies who have had guns shoved either into their mouths or into the backs of their necks in the past three weeks.

The combined market capitalisation of their companies is more than R70bn. Foreign shareholders own more than half of that. What would they do with their money if they found out what was really happening to the people supposed to be looking after it?

It is only a matter of time before foreign investors begin to re-examine SA as an investment destination, particularly if that investment entails sending executives to this country. The fact is there are dozens of gangs of armed criminals in Jo’burg (and even more armed opportunists) and personal safety cannot in any way be guaranteed in this city.

My best friend’s wife was hijacked the other day and driven around blindfolded for hours while her attackers tried to locate her tracking device. One morning last week, a friend and his family (and a classmate of my son) were assaulted and robbed in their home in Sandhurst. A colleague at the Financial Mail was hijacked the other day and held hostage (and drugged and beaten) for TWO DAYS!

Last week, another colleague arrived home to find her young and terrified daughter tied up and the house ransacked. The criminals, thugs, savages and murderers roaming our streets think the police and the government are a joke and they are absolutely right.

AND here’s the really interesting thing about the crime wave and the terror you are about to go through. You can do absolutely nothing about it. You can’t complain about the illegal foreigners because that’s xenophobic. You can’t, if you’re white, complain about the four dudes in the BMW who’ve been watching your house for the past week because that’s racist.

You can’t warn foreigners off coming here because that’s unpatriotic. You can’t complain about illiterate cops because you’re anti-transformation.

You can’t call for the death penalty because that’s fascist. Get a gun? I sympathise but I could not touch one myself. Here’s what you do.

You don’t keep quiet. Tell your story (straight, no elaboration or commentary) to as many people as possible, here and overseas. Don’t be ashamed you were attacked. Speak up. It wasn’t your fault. It was the criminal’s fault and it’s the fault of the police and government they report to that you got (and are going to get) attacked. The police have no leader and I no longer think the country does either.

Does Jacob Zuma have a plan for crime? Suddenly, I’m interested. - Peter Bruce

Source: Crime Expo South Africa

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