Broken South Africa
I went to bed with a very heavy heart last night. The news of police brutality and subsequent death of a Mozambican national a few days ago have left me reeling. The country and indeed the world has reacted with outrage at this blatant act of police brutality. Alas, I fear it may just be a knee-jerk reaction because soon enough we’ll all move on to something else that gets our backs up. A family is in mourning and I fear they may not get the justice they seek.
I am proudly South African and that will never change. Sadly many people have no idea what a paradise our beautiful country is. I take every opportunity to let people know what an amazing country we have and I’m often asked if I’ll ever go back. My answer is always the same…absolutely yes! It breaks my heart when I’m forced to defend our country and its people.
A while ago I watched a documentary ‘Miracle Rising’ and it brought tears to my eyes watching the bonds of friendship, the tenacity of those who fought for political freedom and the hope people spoke of on the day of the first democratic elections in South Africa. Sadly that’s where the documentary ended and if watched in isolation it comes across as a success story and it is in part.
I couldn’t help but feel we gained political freedom yet many of us lost our freedom of movement and with it our spontaneity. The freedom to do things on a whim has been critically diminished. Things seem to have become unhinged and the lifestyle of the lawless and their lack of punishment by the courts has led to many losing hope in our legal system.
Are we really a broken society? What is the way forward? What changes should be made now? Is it naïve to continue to dream of a country where all of our basic needs are met not just those who can afford the necessities of running water, electricity and sanitation. We need the freedom not just to live, work and vote for who we choose but the right to move about without fear of attack. In the event that we may be attacked it should be such a rare occurrence as opposed to the crime stories we’re constantly exchanging with family, friends and even strangers. We need to get back to the place where crimes shock because they are a shame not just when we realise the world views us as barbaric and lawless.
While the police happen to be under the spotlight in this particular instance. It is a fact that they are not the only government officials who are stepping out of line. The natural response is to point a finger at the ruling party and while they have a responsibly of care towards us we can’t really blame them for wrong attitudes of citizens though many will argue this way of thinking is filtering from the corridors of parliament. Corruption needs to be rooted out on so many levels it makes my head spin. Starting from the very top with members of parliament, judiciary, education, transport, social welfare, health and many other government departments.
How and when is this change going to take place? Honestly, I don’t have the faintest idea but I’m hoping that the unfortunate death of Mido Macia will be the catalyst that brings about the much needed change we so desperately need. Corruption is ruining our beautiful country and it’s hurting us all of us.
Though my heart is sad I have not stopped believing that things will get better.We are the powerhouse of Africa and a symbol of triumph over evil. We will overcome again!
Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika – God bless Africa