The Times, they are A-Changing!
Updated: Jul 1
I just felt that I had to share my views and opinions on this topic with those of you who would take the time to read them.
In 2009 the South African Government announced that it was going to make the fight against crime and corruption one of it’s five priorities. This seemed like music to many people’s ears and it was the year that my Beancounter and I decided we’d come home. After all, it’s mostly been the crime that has chased the brains out of the country since 1994. Some escaped because they feared a Civil Revolt, others worried about their children not having a future, but mostly it was the crime that did it. Some families, traumatised by crime against their loved ones, began relocating en-masse to the countries of their birth or ancestral heritage. Those who were lucky enough to be offered citizenship despite their South African Passports, were escaping by the day. As a South African, I sit here and realise how many of my friends and family are no longer resident in South Africa. Our little family were part of that exodus. Our reason was the high levels of crime in Johannesburg and the lack of prospects for my Beancounter in Cape Town. We made sure to add a few other issues onto that to persuade ourselves that we were doing the right thing, such as lack of present AND future job opportunities for ourselves as well as our children. But crime remained the main culprit and we watched things falling apart from our safe seat in the UK. At the same time we constantly worried about those we’d left behind and mourned the loss of loved ones as they were felled by various elements of crime.
This paints a very bleak picture, but explains why a statement such as the one made in 2009 that I mentioned above, would encourage South African born expatriates to return home. We may have white skins, but underneath those skins, we are as African as the brown skinned people who were here first. And just as they were not given the opportunity to change who they are or into which race they were born, neither were we. South Africans, with their rainbow nation ethic, have become better acquainted with one another over the years since the colour bar was obliterated. For this I will be eternally grateful to P W Botha who got the ball rolling, and to Nelson Mandela for his gracious captaining of our ship through the stormy channel of change.
Now we are faced with yet another joke in our Governmental Ranks. On 12 June 2012 it was announced that in place of the dismissed National Police Chief, Bheke Cele, a certain Ms Mangwashi Victoria Phiyega had been appointed. I was shocked to read a press release, wherein she was interviewed and where she admitted to having no experience in this field. She then also apparently stated that ‘one doesn’t need to be a drunkard to own a bottle store.’ So despite President Zuma’s claims that she’s very capable, I feel rather skeptical that our police force is going to improve at all whilst she struts the boardwalk in her new mantle of ignorance. It’s rather scary from where I’m sitting! Surely she wasn’t the only one to chose from?
Oh and here’s another little titbit of info I laughed at! Apparently between 2009 and 2011 there was a 5% drop in crime in South Africa. This after Police Commissioner Bheki Cele was given a brief to ‘take the war to the criminals and make South Africa safer.’ So the funny bit is that 60% of households were satisfied with the way police and courts were doing their work. I don’t remember being asked!!! I’d love to hear from anyone who was asked, because surely if you ask people who are impoverished and living on the bones of their backsides, they would say yes? That excludes them from the petty criminal’s list of possible targets. It does however leave them open to other more heinous crime, but such crimes often go unreported in South Africa. I wonder whether any of the homes that were robbed or the people who were mugged, raped, assaulted, etc. were asked what their opinion was? I fear not.
I dream of a better country run by officials whose first priority is to serve their people, but alas all we ever get are money and power hungry idiots who somehow manage to win the confidence of the masses! It’s been 23 years now since Apartheid was abolished. That’s enough time for the majority of persons to have been educated to a point where they are not getting the wool pulled over their eyes any longer. Well one would think so anyway.
Thanks for reading, come back soon.