Thursday, September 7, 2006

Crime - I'm tired of making excuses...

I like to think that I am a positive person. I try my best to find the positive side in any situation. Coming from a semi-political family, I have been raised as a Proudly South African citizen. Being in the Journalism field, I have seen and experienced terrible atrocities in South Africa. But still, the fact that we live in such a beautiful country of natural beauty makes me feel that things aren’t really that bad.

I get very irritated when I hear people complaining about South Africa. Even though our newspapers bleed with headlines of rape, robbery and murder, I still find solace in the fact that we are a country of rich cultures and diversity.

However, my spirit has been dampened by something that happened to me last month. While walking in town around midday with two friends, my purse was stolen out of my handbag by a 15-year old boy. Someone who witnessed this approached me and told me about this. I became frantic and begged this young man to run after the boy. By the time I caught up with the group of teens, my money was already being distributed.

A nearby security guard caught the child who had taken the purse from my bag, but his friend ran away with it. I don’t remember ever being that angry before. As the guard held this 15-year old by his arm, I grabbed the money from his hands (about R180) and yelled at him, demanding him to find his friends who ran away with my purse.

When the police arrived, a case was opened and the juvenile was taken away. I really don’t care about the money that was taken. But I have had to deal with unnecessary admin of canceling and getting new cards. Besides that, I am so frustrated that this happened. I have been told that street children steal out of desperation. But still – it’s the principle of it. How dare he steal?

After this incident I have become paranoid as I walk down the street. I hate being like this – clutching onto my bag if I as much as see someone suspicious walking towards me.

The way I see it is like this – there are so many things already killing us in the world – Cancer, AIDS, tsunamis, forest fires…even floods! I think it’s ridiculous that we have to fear another human being. But, sadly that it the reality of the world.

I have been hearing far too many disheartening stories over the past few weeks. It’s one thing reading about it in the newspaper or watching it on the news, but when crime is committed to people close to you, it’s an entirely different situation. I have family members who have had guns pointed to their heads; they’ve been woken from their sleep and tortured in their bedrooms. This isn’t right. No country is exempt from crime, but we also can’t avoid the fact that we live in one of the most dangerous county’s in the world. When foreigners hear of South Africa, they think one of two things: 1) Wildlife and 2) Crime. Many people will argue that because of our brutal history, people are still healing from deep wounds that will take a long time to heal.

But I am tired of making excuses for the crime in this country. I refuse to live my life in fear. Why should innocent people suffer? If anyone should suffer, it should be the criminals…but we all know that isn’t the case.

As I write this, I don’t wish to solve any world crisis whatsoever. All I am saying is that South Africa needs to beef up its punishment laws. It is ridiculous that criminals are arrested and sometimes within a few hours, they’re released back into society. And so the cycle begins again.

7 comments:

Velu Nair said...

I guess its the same the world over. Thngs arent getting any better, especially with half the world population in dire straits economically and emotionally.

Sheetal said...

Thanks for your comment, Velu :) Yep, the situation exists the world over.. I still have hope that things will improve though, especially for South Africa.

Mosilager said...

Hi Sheets it'll get better as long as people are empowered to believe that they can change their situation (at least that's my grand scheme for world peace). BTW you've been tagged.

Sheetal said...

hey there..

good to hear from you! i've just visited your blog..loved ur pics from Universal Studios :)

Mosilager said...

thanks! so you're going to do the tag then?

Sheetal said...

I'm about to check out the tag thing right now...I didn't have a chance to look at it when I was at home.

:)

hiumduh said...

wow!

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