Tuesday, July 17, 2007
time to leave?
recently i posted on the effect some stories of violence had on me. but recently i heard another story that once again made me think.
the doctor who starred in my post bringing balance to the force was the main character. as it turns out, he was on his way home after what i assume was a busy day at work. he got hijacked. common in south africa and very often fatal. the two hijackers, apparently both about 18 years of age, made him drive to his house. there they stole what they could. thereafter they forced the doctor back into his car (as if they hadn't done enough damage) and drove off to some deserted area.
the hijackers then tried to suffocate the doctor using a piece of an inner tube of a tyre. he fought back. can you imagine the scene? a 60 year old man fighting for his life against two strong young boys almost in their prime? he must have done well for himself because they had to try three times. on the third attempt, the doctor realised he wasn't getting out of this easily. fighting hadn't worked. so he went for plan b. he held his breath, struggled a bit and then went limp.
they left him for dead. he was not and that's how i know his story.
amazingly enough, the man is still positive about staying in this country we both love so much. i am starting to wonder.
there were a few things about this incident that worried me. in sangoma, one of my commenters was so keen on knowing the racial breakdown of the players. that made me think she had once been south african, but was no longer. maybe i was wrong. but south africans that watched the trc when it happened would, like me, have been horrified to hear that one of the methods emplyed by the apartheid regime to torture and kill their opponents was to suffocate them with the inner tube of a tyre. for that commenter, i mention that the doctor was white and the perpetrators were black. yet they were too young to have known first hand anything about apartheid and such. they just heard the stories. a coincidence that they employed this method to try to dispose of their victim when a bullet to the brain would have been faster and more certain? somehow i think not. there was at least an element of racial selection in their crime. they wanted to be able to say they had killed a whitey (not that there are so many left, relatively speaking, in the country). they can no longer claim their crimes were motivated by some political ideology or fight for freedom. but in their minds it is about us vs them. it's black and white. no shades of grey here.
anyway it seems to me we have gone through so much to revert back to our racist ways like these two youths did. south african violence is maybe too much now. yes, maybe it is time to leave.