by George Annandale
An innocent woman was senselessly shot dead by fleeing armed robbers on the driveway of a petrol station in Johannesburg. She was minding her own business and was no threat to the robbers. In Durban, a second woman was shot to death by armed robbers, this time in broad daylight on a busy street. Yesterday a third woman, shot dead in her house by robbers, for a TV set, was buried.
These senseless acts, many similar acts and the daily raids on shopping centres fly in the face of promises made by Jacob Zuma, Mthetwa, Mbalula and Cele.
Having been a victim of armed robbers on two occasions, I am concerned and worried. I find it particularly difficult to understand why these violent criminals have to kill their victims, often in the most savage manner. Thanks to the police, the anti-gun lobby and with the assistance of the new firearms act, a great number of firearms were transferred from legal and registered owners to criminals. Reports of missing guns, handed to the police are rife. The criminals must know they have the balance of firepower, they know - in most cases - the victims are unarmed yet they still kill them.
This begs the question, why the senseless killings? I came up with quite a few possibilities. I obviously eliminated racism, many may disagree with me but we know there is no such thing as a racist black person. Anybody, that does not recognise racism as a trait unique to whites, lives in cloud-cuckoo land. We are told daily, by the media and our leaders, that black racism does not exist. Having discarded racism I was left with a list of possibilities ranging from naked hatred of assorted things, to xenophobia, hunting instincts, hero worship, obsessive-compulsive-behaviour syndrome (CBS), fear of prosecution, lack of life-skill education and projection.
We have already seen the effects of xenophobia in South Africa and in many cases; the robbers consider their victims “non-indigenous” and therefore fair game. Many robbers, being descendants of hunters, believe they have to kill the victim in order to get what they want, others. Many of the killer robbers, in admiration of the struggle generation, brave bomb-planters like McBride and warriors calling for their machineguns, justifiably want to emulate their heroes. Complicated psychological conditions like, Borderline Personality Disorder, various forms of CBS , Bi-Polarity and heaven knows what else, contribute to the apparent senseless killings stemming from the seemingly petty robberies.
It is obvious that the government and police can solve the problem by establishing sufficient number of lunatic asylums that will cope with the abnormally high levels of insanity prevailing in the county. Potential lunatics, so identified at school can be locked away, in padded cells, where they will pose no threat to society.
Young people in schools must receive a basic economics understanding of the re-distribution of wealth and sustainability of potential resources. It does not take a rocket-scientist to figure that by killing robbery victims, they terminate their ability to create more wealth. Instead of impulsively blowing the harmless victim’s brains away, they can beat the victim senseless, which is more fun anyway, ensuring the victim returns to normal life, slightly traumatized but nevertheless, able to work harder, generate more wealth and ready for a hit a few months later. They can nail most victims at least six times, before they will throw in the towel and emigrate. If the police can manage such a paradigm shift, the necessity for hiding crime statistics will disappear, since many murders and violent crimes, can then be reclassified as economic and white-collar crime which, can that be dumped on the traditional white-collar crook, Nigerians and whites.
Ray McRawley, with the foot washing Vlok and Niehaus can be tasked to, at school level, institute a program teaching brotherly love. This may cure the tendency of schoolchildren, to develop a “hate of assorted things”, which as we see, manifests itself, later in life, in a desire to kill.
Potential robbers must also realise, the killing of victims, to prevent identification in the unlikely event of a prosecution, is unnecessary. Everybody, except the robbers know blacks generally look the same to whites and besides, the poor bastards are generally scared out of their wits by the robber and the fear of inevitable death, they do not remember a thing.
As for the hero worship, that will be a difficult one. Can you imagine any freedom fighter worth his salt or African leader giving up his hero status, often self-conferred and based on unsubstantiated myth, in the interest of preventing the spilling of a few drops of blood?
After all, it is blood, generally that of others, which create heroes. Keeping the struggle alive is the essence of political power. If the government and the leaders focus on the other areas, I suppose it will result in a slight decrease in the killings. Besides, Rome was not built in a day. If we can progress from the top ten in violent crime rankings to, say number twenty, we can claim success.
Jacob Zuma, in his first 100 days, has clearly not made the impression on crime he promised. Whilst the Minister and the Deputy-minister are playing the “Mine-is-bigger-than-yours” game and Bheki Cele takes a grand tour, people continue to die at an ever-increasing rate. Given the number of criminals in the police, the incompetence of others, the corruption at high levels and the ease with which dockets disappear, I fail to see how Cele’s shoot to kill attitude will change the situation.