Safety In South Africa


Like "military intelligence", these are words that just don't go together. Right?

A few days ago, my brother got hijacked by a group of armed men, while he was transporting three women (his staff) to their home in Belville, Cape Town. He was parked in the driveway, waiting for the gate to close when he was attacked. He was incredibly brave and calm throughout the incident, and had the presence of mind to walk away from the car while the hijackers looked for keys, wallets, cellphones, and the like. In doing so, he drew attention away from himself, and the nervous hijackers sped off in his car. No one was injured in the incident.

Phew! Lucky! That's our first thought. We have come to expect a lot worse from these situations. Infact, my young brother-in-law was hijacked over a year ago. He was taken on a three hour hell drive through Joburg to Soweto (even past a police road block). He was dropped off near a vacant veld, fully expecting to be killed. He too was relatively calm and engaged the fuel cut-off switch as he was removed from the car. This prevented the hijackers from starting the car (which they spend 20 minutes trying to do) and eventually gave up and ran off with the car radio and cellphone when they sensed that police may be patrolling nearby. He was physically unhurt - just a few bruises. Phew! Lucky indeed!

Well South Africans are sick of it! It's bad enough to be hijacked or robbed, but all the senseless violence and killing with impunity is just too much to handle.

"Nothing is being done about!"
"It's just a matter of time before it happens to me!"
"Everywhere I look I see violent crime"

As if this wasn't enough, our rand is loosing value, the petrol price is going through the roof, interest rates are climbing, electricity is scarce, and our next president has a case pending against him for corruption, nevermind the shower stuff. Oh, and the one silver lining in the cloud - that booming property market we invested in - is now also sinking. Only one thing to do! Let's head for Australia! Hell, even the disbanded scorpions are packing for Perth!

I've been noticing this sentiment permeating the country. Tales of a mass exodus of skilled people out of this country. To be honest, that does sound like a wonderful proposition - to go to a place where we can walk outside without being paranoid about our safety. It's a big step to emigrate though, and most of us have ties here that keep us here. Infact, dammit, we WANT to stay here, if only the crime could be stopped!

So I've challenged myself to buck the trend. People WANT to believe things are so bad in this country that they HAVE to emigrate. That justifies their abandonment of their home country. It is as easy to read all the violent crime stories as it is to report on them - they are sensational! Do you actually hear the good news in amongst the bad?

Did you know that there are people fighting back? The e-blockwatch initiative, for example. Or even better, the Glenhazel Active Patrol in Glenhazel, that hires mercenaries from African countries armed with AK-47's to protect their community. This is so successful that other communities are looking to emulate it. Even the police, who we like to think are so useless, are making great strides in reducing violent crime, includingcash-in-transit heists. They setup shop across the Mozambique border to catch those hijacked cars that leave our country. They have even apprehended terrorists operating in South Africa, a problem we don't even realise we have. Infact, one of the safest places in the world is right here in South Africa! I kid you not! Easier to move there than Australia, don't you think?