Is Safety in South Africa Really suc a big Issue?
In 1986 my parents moved us to a farm just outside of a small little God forsaken town, about 60 kilometers outside of Johannesburg called, Delmas.
As a young child, I had grown up with the apartheid era, and being white in those days had put you automatically in the “good’ side of the fence.
Now, as you can imagine, as a child of 10, rasicm and apartheid had no meaning to me. I had no idea what was going on, things were as they were, and have always been. We had a good life. We had enough money to live. We had not been rich, but at least we had food on the table, and a good sized house to live in.
We could play outside until late, sometimes our parents didn’t even know what we were up to, or where we were doing it. As long as we were home by the time it got dark, they were not worried about us.
The maid who worked in the house, had looked after us during the day, because my parents had to work. The gardener was also semi- in charge of us kids, because we were a bunch of hooligans, o say the least!
My parents had brought us up to be strong people, and to back up what we believe in, and in that had tought us that no human being is greater than another.
The house we moved into was a huge old farm house. It had no security, no burglar bars, and certainly no alarm system. We had dogs, but that was it, and everybody had a dog or two, especially when you had the space to keep them. So it turned out that we grew up with Rottweilers and ducks in the back yard.
All the time we had black people in and around our house. Either working in the house, garden or for the business my parents had started there. Al-in-all we employed more than 60 people at one time.
Some of the people that works for my parents to this day, had moved with us when we decided to start a new life. Those people are like family and have been around much longer than most of my parents friends.
As the years progressed, the house received somewhat of a make-over. Bare windows were closed up with burglar bars, because of an attempted break in of what we had concluded to be a bunch of kids fooling around.
Then came 1993-1994. The big revolution had been flung into action. As a Child, I didn’t even know about the riots and the bombings, until my mother and brother narrowly escaped death at a restaurant bombing in Benoni, a town much closer to Johannesburg.
They had been into the “Wimpy” a fast food restaurant. My mom had bought them some lunch, and they had just sat down, when my mom caught a glimpse of a black man, sitting very uneasy at a table in the middle of the restaurant. He had no food with him, and he was clearly on edge. Thank God, my mother had the sense to listn to her instincts, and grabbed my brother up, and left. As they got to the car, they heard the big BANG! The restaurant had gone up in flames, and people all around, black and white were yelling and screaming.
I guess that would be the day I realized that things aren’t just as nice as they seem. People aren’t always nice, and does not always care for the children in a certain situation. I could probable refer to Germany, in the time of Holocaust, not even children, who had no say in things, or even knew what the problem was, could escape punishment.
As the years grew on, apartheid became a thing of the past. I can still remember watching Mr. Mandela getting out of jail, the inauguration and his first day in parliament. We were all stuck to the television, waiting for the end of the world to strike at any moment.
Suddenly, all that was a white person had become the anti-Christ! Even little children, who didn’t even know how to tie their shoe laces were blamed for the horrible things our so called “leaders” of the day had implemented.
Luckily for us, Mr. Mandela is a wonderful person. He had not once taken the stance of tyrant, and had treated each and every person as an equal individual. Black, white, coloreds and Indians alike. We were all just people to him, and I’m sure to this day.
Back on the farm, things have changed even more. Electrical gates were put up, and the stringy little fence that stood there for years had been replaced by a six foot monster of a fence. People were cutting up the fences to get into the yard, so they could steal the electrical wiring we used inside the greenhouses for lighting.
So, later, up cam the electrical fence! But before that, a real break in. Money stolen, straight out of the vault, with no effort, no cutting machines, they knew exactly where the keys were, and the safe. No TV’s were taken, no radio’s, nothing but the money, not even my mother’s jewelry. That same day the maid had wanted to know from my mother if I would be home that night, or if I would be going out with my friends.
It turned out the maid was the culprit, and her boyfriend, who had masterminded the whole thing was in the Police Service, he even “investigated the case”. So there goes your trust in humanity, right out the window!
The maid was fire, a security system was put in, and everything was now locked at night, from the bathroom door, to the door of every room that was not in use! My parents had also put a slide security gate in the house, to section off the house from the bedrooms, and that was locked too.
So here we are in our Huge old farmhouse, trapped like rats in a cage! Lovely!
The simple truth is, that no one is safe any more in South Africa. I don’t are what our safety minister tells the world. No one is safe. Black people are being discriminated on by black people, whites by whites. It’s an endless vicious circle, and all the while the word rasicm is swung around like a toy in the air.
Friends have been hi-jacked, assaulted, stolen from, shot and killed. Not just because someone else is hungry and needs the money, but because they are white, they owe the world. One farmer in the community had been terrorized by the people living in the town ships, because he refused to sell his land to the municipality for more housing. He was tortured, his children tortured beaten. He had been shot in the face and left to die, and with the grace of god still lives.
For the people living in the townships the story is the same, except, they don’t have police protection. The police rarely venture into a township, and justice is left up to the people. They cannot go out of their houses when the sun goes down. Their children are being raped and abused by “Tsotsi’s” while they are at work.
So you cannot say that there is a difference in treatment for white or black people.
In my conclusion. No, South Africa is not safe. It is not a place where you want to live. People are scared to set foot outside their houses. People don’t want to employ any more houseworkers, because they get stolen from. People are scared for their children, who in my opinion, does not deserve the rap their getting