i recently watched the movie capote. i enjoyed it. but, being south african, i was interested in the reaction the movie portrayed of the american community to the murders that the movie is indirectly about. their reaction was shock and dismay. their reaction was right.
but in south africa there is a similar incident every day. i don't read the newspaper because it depresses me too much. you might wonder why i, a surgeon, am posting on this. one reason may be because i often deal with the survivors (two previous posts found here and here). at the moment i have three patients who are victims of violent crime. one is the victim of a farm attack. an old man who had his head caved in with a spade. why? just for fun, it seems. but maybe the reason i'm writing this post is because i'm south african. this is my country and i'm gatvol.
just three recent stories. some guys broke into a house. they gaged the man. it seemed that whatever they shoved into his mouth was shoved in too deep, because as they lay on the bed violating his wife, he fought for breath and finally died of asphyxiation.
then there is a woman alone at home. some thugs broke in and asked where the safe was. they were looking for guns. she told them she had no safe and no guns. they then took a poker, heated it to red hot and proceeded to torture her with it so that she would tell them what they wanted to hear. because she could not, the torture went on for a number of hours.
then there is the story of a group of thugs that broke in to a house. they shot the man and cut the fingers of the woman off with a pair of garden shears. while the man lay on the floor dying, the criminals took some time off to lounge on the bed eating some snacks they had found in the fridge and watch a bit of television.
these are only three stories, but, if you do read the papers, you can hear about similar stories on a daily basis. and our great and mighty president, the eminently blind thabo mbeki, believes there is no problem with crime here.
yes, you americans were right to be horrified by the story upon which capote is based. we south africans, through the leadership of possibly the worst leader of a country in the world today, well we just get used to it.