Disarming the Law Abiding Citizen in South Africa

For some time now gun control has been in the background, every so often moving into the public stage again when something terribly goes wrong, for example the Columbine High School massacre, and then it gets obscured again by various other issues which arise.

Sadly, the call for stricter gun control is back in light of the Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp tragedy, and now the African Nation Congress Women League and various other parties are calling for it.

I think this, is a very very very bad idea, particularly in South Africa

It would be nothing else than a collective suicide if South African law abiding citizens give up their right to defend themselves given the current state of affairs in South Africa, and the utter inhumane violent crimes which are purported against the citizens of South Africa by murderers and rapists.

In March of 2011 when Lidiwe Sisulu was still Minister of Defense it was reported that 82 000 weapons were missing from the South African National Defense Force.

In the same year it was reported that South African Police Services has lost 20 428 weapons since 2004.

Now the question begs to be asked … “Where are these weapons?”

Certainly, these weapons won’t be with the average, run of the mill Law Abiding Citizen since he would not have a need for it.  He would have his own licensed weapons I would think, since he is a model citizen of South Africa.

No, it makes more sense to assume that some of the weapons were sold and left for neighboring countries while others have been found in the hands of local thugs and criminals,  many of them used in violent attacks on our fellow citizens.

Of course one could argue that the weapons which were not already found in the system simply just got lost, but given the track record which the SAPS has and the corruption allegations which surface regularly against members of the Police, I’m going to go with to go with the first scenario.

It would then stand to reason that if you disarm the average citizen, that you would make him and easy target, effectively painting a bulls-eye on his back,  for those who would have the need for unlicensed weapons, like criminals.

If a criminal already has very little or no moral values, with nothing to lose or fear, then what would deter him from coming into your home while you sleep to liberate some of your earthly possessions?  Heaven forbid he enters your home with a darker, more sinister plan in mind.

Are you simply going to ask him nicely to leave you and your family in peace?

No, you can’t … as Dr Marthin Luther King once said,  “It is criminal to not teach a man how to defend himself”.  You have to protect those who you love, those dear to you, the innocent.

Now, what if this criminal was armed with a firearm?

It would basically mean mean that we will be settings the wolves upon the flock, and this cannot be allowed to happen.

We must not forfeit our rights to defend ourselves because the Government can’t assure us that our lives will be safe in their hands.  They blame all sorts of failed policies, their favorite of course, blaming the violent nature of South Africa on Apartheid, but never looking inwards, to what their corruption and greedy grabs for high paying jobs, flashy cars and fortress mansions projects down onto the still suffering, still marginalized, still uneducated, economically and socially devastated, masses.

Masses who need to eat, who need to feed their children. Masses who get pitiful handouts in the form of social grants, like the famous “Baby Grant” without permanent solutions to their grievances from Government.  Instead they get empty promises, some lip service and a whole lot of dancing while singing “struggle” songs which could incite violence, like Zuma’s favorite struggle song “Umshini wami” and others like “Dubula Ibhunu” …

Remember, criminals didn’t start out as criminals, society and Government allowed this to happen …

The normal citizens then become the easy targets, those of the diminishing middle income group living in Suburbia and the poor who are still stuck in informal settlements.  Never would these criminals try to steal from very well fortified mansions of political leaders who are guarded by guards with automatic machine guns purely because it is just not that easy when someone is shooting back at you, and you might actually lose the only thing you have left, your life.

Government has failed us, and now they want us to give up one of the tools we us in order to protect ourselves because they cant?  Certainly, they must be mad!

Fight the Government with everything you have on this …  think about it this way, had there been no violent crime, or a reason to own a weapon, then Oscar Pistorius might not have been in the situation he is in because he would not have had a gun.

The gun and Reeva are the only true innocent objects in this sad scenario.  The gun didn’t fire itself, it was fired by Oscar, Oscar pulled the trigger … the gun didn’t fire itself.  The fact of the matter is that this slogan rings very true.

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”

So people, keep your guns, fight for self preservation, in fact, if possible, arm yourself, go for training.  Protect yourselves and those you love.

Heaven forbid that we would need to protect ourselves from the Government or our fellow countrymen someday when our country slides down into total anarchy …

Remembering Anene, Remembering Andries …

Last week Jacob Zuma delivered the State of the Nation address at Partliment’s opening and yet again he failed to address the real issues at hand in South Africa, but instead he spoke about TAX reforms which would just squeeze the already overburdened taxable population and the ultra poor just more.

One would have thought that more people would have something to say about SONA, hell, one would have thought everyone in South Africa would have had something to say about the State of the Nation with the 42c petrol hike, which is now going to be followed by a 87c hike, the partly State owned utility company, Eskom, who wants to increase it’s tariffs with 16%, the fact that Government lied to us about the E-Toll saga, of course there was little other things like the R250 million (and climbing) Nkandla and the R1.5 Billion spent on the Road to Nkandla  which Government upgraded under the National Key Point act of 1980.

I thought people would be fuming around the mouths about horror crimes like the violent rape and disembowelment of Anene Booysen, the rape of a 1 year old toddler in Limpopo, the rape of a 91 year old Gogo (grandmother) in Kwa-Zulu Natal, the violent murders on farmers, on the elderly, on children … but no …

Sadly, these horrific crimes and injustices against the population of South Africa are not the main focus of our macabre society.

The reason for this is our collective morbid fascination with the Oscar Pistorius incident which transpired in the early morning of Valentine’s Day.

Before I explain why, let me firstly say this though.  I feel for the families involved, no matter which way you look at it, it is a terrible and traumatic event, and nobody who is closely involved will ever be the same, and I wish everyone the best and that justice will prevail.

Here, is where my interest in the incident ends.  The reason for this is that the media hype over this incident has overshadowed everything which in my opinion, carries more weight than a single death, accidental or not.

You see, Anene Booysen is a 17 year old colored girl from Bredasdorp in the Western Cape. She went out with her friends, and then she left with her ex-boyfriend and a couple of his friends.

She was brutally raped, disemboweled, her legs broken and left to die by her assailants.

Then there is the brutal death of Andries Tatane, who died in a service delivery protest by the hands of the South African Police Force in Ficksburg because Government had failed to deliver on the promises they made since the fall of Apartheid, they were stuck in the same economic wilderness as before the fall of Apartheid, some even worse.

Every single day, there about 18000 murders in South Africa apart from the murders we are almost top of the log when it comes to violent rapes.

Rape.co.za puts the amount of reported cases of rape between 2009/2010 at 68 332. Because not all cases get reported to authorities this number may actually be much higher.

That is about 50 murders and 187 reported cases of rape per day on a population which is estimated at 50 million.

India, on the other has, with a population of 1.2 billion reports about 72 cases of rape per day.

Clearly one can see that there is something very wrong with our society, and this is where my grief lies.

The populace in general is making a big scene about Oscar Pistorius case and totally forgetting the marginalized John Doe’s on the street who are also victims to these violent crimes.  Not only are they forgotten, but it seems that everyone is avoiding the cause of these symptoms of our corrupt and amoral society.

This brings me to the cause of these cancerous symptoms, the ANC led Government with Jacob Zuma at it’s head.  It has failed us, the people of South Africa.  They have neglected the upliftment of South Africa as a whole through their never ending internal “struggle” for the spoils of war after the fall of Apartheid and their lust for power.

Liberation songs like “Umshini wami” which translates into “Bring me my machine gun” were sung by our President Jacob Zuma, the same Zuma who has not yet answered for corruption charges brought against him before he took office,  and other well known former political allies like Julius Malema who once swore to start killing in the name of Zuma, and who has now fallen out of favor along with being investigated for abusing his political ties for financial gain.

No, sadly only those with some sort of political connection and the politicians themselves got uplifted while the rest of the country suffered the evils of corruption and failed administration of State resources.

Corruption and mediocre policies, and the implementation of these policies, lies at the the very core of our sick society and yet we decide to make a fuss about one person who has been killed,  but we can’t save a second or two to think about the hundreds who are effected every day through violent crime?

We can’t spare a thought about the State of our Nation and the fact that all the politicians from the various political parties walked down a red carpet in fancy evening wear for the opening of Parliament like famous Hollywood actors on their way to the Oscars? (I assure you, no pun intended)

Something is very very wrong in our society, and I urge you to start thinking critically, stop being negative towards each other and have a little more patience with one another.

Look past the differences and focus on the things we have in common, and one thing we have in common, from rich down to the poor man on street is that we are “Gatvol”.  Gatvol of poor service delivery, gatvol of potholes, gatvol of the murders, the rapes, the spade of violent crimes.

We are gatvol because we have to pay premium prices to give our kids a decent education in a private school because the public education system has failed our children, the next generation to take over from us.

We are gatvol because we have to pay premium prices to be able to go to private hospital because public hospitals are death traps.

Now think about those who do not have the finances to afford these premiums?  They are just as gatvol, and everyone is yearning for change!  This is our common ground from which we can build.

The change we are yearning for will only come once we as a nation stick together and see past each other differences, it will only happen when we realise that we are all connected in the bigger scheme of things and that we are dependent on each other.

I beg you, the reader, to be positive, to start becoming involved in these pressing socio-economic and political issues and to voice your concerns.  Don’t be scared to enter into conversation and most of all, treat those around you the way you would want to be treated, then relationship build on mutual respect will prosper and we will be able to reach out to one another.

We can build a better South Africa, one in where there will be no more symptoms of poor governance like the rape on Anene, like the murder of Andries, the massacare at Marikana.

Let us all stand together against Government and keep these people like Anene and Andries and all the other countless of people who have been victims of violent crime in our hearts, lets draw strength from the sacrifices they and their families have made and lets fight for our country!

Be heard as one voice

Violent Strikes in the South African Agricultural Sector, why and what will be the outcome?

South Africa is a country with great potential and with a unique and diverse culture.  It is the only country in the World where the minority ruled over the majority with an Iron Fist until 1994, and although this was not something which was born in South Africa self, it was a policy which was thought out and implemented by the then colonizers of Africa, the British under Lord Milner, it did leave us with a unique situation.

A unique symbiotic relationship developed between the two major ethical groups in South Africa, to the point where neither group can function properly without the other group, and this is not to say that one group should preside in the Master role and the other in the Slave role, because we are all equal, despite what most right wing commentators would say.  The only difference between the “Masters” and the “Slaves” was, and is still the level of education.  This is not a matter of opinion, but rather a simple fact which everyone who is honest with himself would agree upon.

Lately though, South Africa has been plagued by violent protests throughout all the major sectors of the economy.

The transport, mining, agriculture industry and service delivery strikes were the most prominent and made it onto the headlines of News24 every single day, even while the top brass in the ANC were spending millions of taxpayer money on their party celebrations over December.

Because there are just too many strings to follow and to discuss, and because I want to keep this short and sweet I will only give my thoughts on the violent strikes and protests we observed within the agricultural sector, and I am not going to pussy foot around the subject.

The ANC led Government has had “control” over South Africa for the last 18 years and yet the majority of our countrymen are still living in absolute poverty.  The reason Malema was such a threat to the ANC “regime” was because he was speaking the truth when he said that Freedom doesn’t mean anything without economic emancipation, albeit it that he had a very poorly thought out plan of Nationalization to deal with the issue at hand.

He was a threat to the political scavenger elite who are currently running the country, and though everyone knows that nearly everyone in a Government position has his hand down the cookie jar in some form or another he was allowed this “benefit” until he turned on his Master whom he was willing to protect and give his life for, Jacob Zuma.  After this his political career was crushed and now SARS is picking clean the bones of his sorry carcass.

But let’s leave that for there now and focus on the violent strikes in the agricultural sector.

So the farm workers were complaining about earning R65 a day … to put that into perspective … 2L of milk costs R20, a bread costs R5, taxi fare, depending on how far you are from your place of work is R15 if you are within a 30km radius, and then somewhere in between you must still put a little away for a rainy day?

Of course these workers have reason to be pissed off, the cost of living is rising, they mostly have no running water nor electricity, no formal schooling, and yet everyone around them are pocketing it big time, from their perspective while they are struggling to put clothes on the backs of their children, while they suffer to make enough money to feed their children.

R65 a day is nothing in the bigger scheme of things, especially when your “Baas” quickly jumps in his luxury 4 x 4 Toyota bakkie and drives off to the Pick & Pay, grabs some braaivleis and 12 ice cold Black Labels for the rugby.

This is not only true for the Agricultural sector, but everywhere.  The reason I know this is because I take the time to speak to those less fortunate than myself, those who were, and are still part of the “previously disadvantaged” of South Africa, the poorest of the poor.

Though, this might not always be fact, it remains the perception out there, and we have to work together to change the perception.

I know a couple of farmers personally, of whom I can only say good things, they provide for their workers, they build houses for them, they make sure they have running water, electricity, they give them food, and they even share their ice cold Black Labels with their workers, but this is certainly not what is happening as a rule of thumb, and this is where our problem really arises.

White South Africans  are too LAZY and they consider it beneath them to do manual labor  because that is a “kaffir’s” job.

Because of this, the South African system has always relied on cheap, unschooled laborers for these types of jobs, and although we share a unique symbiosis it does not mean that we have to enrich ourselves at the cost of our countrymen.

These laborers are trapped in a never ending struggle for survival where they work to survive, and survive to work, a never ending cycle with no hope of getting out of this closed loop system.

In no World is this fair towards anyone … I challenge those of you who are privileged enough to be reading this, not because I think this is a great opinion, but because you are privileged enough to be sitting down on your ass behind a computer, most likely in a air-conditioned office, with your fingertips on a keyboard, from where you can access any information you want to imagine yourself in the shoes of those laborers.

You would too do anything to provide for your families, to provide the very basics, which the South African Constitution “claims” your are entitled to as the very basic of human rights, the right to education, the right to a decent standard of living, the right to running water.  You would also burn the country if your perception is that you are suffering in the sun while the “Baas” can do what he wants, because he not only has freedom, but he is free from the financial constraints which is hampering you to better your existence, and to start designing a life.

The ANC led Government refuses to acknowledge the fact that Farm Murders, which are some of the most horrific murders in the history of South Africa are hate crimes, because if they do, then they will acknowledge their failure as a governing party. It is part and parcel of this perception which is out there and because of the deliberate “racial” divide which they keep on promoting from within governmental rallies and speeches, and this only compounds the dilemma we are sitting with, and this puts the whole country at risk of being destabilized.

They (the Government) are not forthcoming with ideas on how to address the problem, and I guess they are hoping that the flimsy stitches of this “Rainbow Nation” will stay in place for a bit longer while they loot the State coffers.  Not once have Government offered the farmers some sort of tax break if they up the daily wages of these laborers  because let’s face it, the farmers, are not all the filthy rich bastard “Boere” who do not care for the fellow countrymen, no, a lot of them are suffering under the economic pressures of our time with the operational costs of running the farm skyrocketing because of failed policies implemented by Government which causes havoc in our local economy.

In my heart I want to believe that, if they could, they would pay their laborers a decent daily wage, but I know that is idealistic, and there should be measures put in place to ensure those types of wages if it is possible from the farmer’s side.

There are so many factors which can change the ebb and flow of this situation, and I am just a spectator on the side, but one thing I know for certain is this.

If we don’t all try and work together and start looking out for Government, then we will all be chewed up and swallowed by the Monster which is governing our country, because if all the farmers leave, what will be left but barren earth … how will we feed our loved ones?

Coincidentally I saw a poster which read “If there is no more food the poor will be forced to eat the rich” … scary thought?  Well, just ask the Pygmies in the Congo is this is so far fetched or not.

If this continues we will be facing a real civil war, and although I know there are those of us who believe that this is the only solution to our problem, I put this to you, it’s easier to destroy then to build, and with the destruction we only put ourselves back 18 years at the very least … and we will be spitting on the graves of those who have died in the last 18 years, we will be robbing future generations of hope, we will leave behind a legacy which I would rather not be part of.

I implore you, the reader, to get actively involved, to put aside your personal feelings of hate and mistrust and to try and work together, if not for you, but for your children, and their children.

The whole World is waiting like vultures, for the spoils of war, so let’s not give them the satisfaction of failing, let’s work together and fix this.