Thursday, 6 December 2007

'We are an evil nation'

05/12/2007 09:08 - (SA)

Marietie Louw-Carstens, Beeld

Mookgopong - "Unrestrained anger" is a breeding ground for a cruel attack such as the recent one on an elderly Limpopo couple at the weekend.

"We are an incredibly evil nation," said well-known forensic criminologist, Dr Irma Labuschagne.

"I believe people in our country have never been angrier with each other."

Beeld reported on Monday about the attack during which 70-year-old Hettie Janse van Rensburg's fingers were cut off with garden shears. Her husband, Theuns, 72, was left for dead after he had been beaten over the head with a bush knife.

'Not just about poverty'

No less than 10 attacks were reported in Limpopo during the past couple of weeks. People were hacked with axes and a farmer was burnt alive inside his house.

Labuschagne said many promises were made during transformation to a democratic system. Many expectations were created and those who lived in terrible conditions, continued to suffer.

Many people believed their lives would change overnight. Many of these promises have still not been realised.

"Meanwhile some people realise that things won't get better overnight."

These people experience intense anger and take it out on those who are better off than themselves.

"They want to get back at those whom they attack for everything they don't have and for what happened in the past."

Labuschagne said not only poverty caused these feelings and reactions. In India, where there is abject poverty, violent crimes hardly exist.

"People in India have accepted their circumstances and live with it. This has not yet happened in South Africa."


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