De­pri­va­tion root cause in rape, mur­der

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD - LB An­goma

THE re­cent in­crease in the mur­der and rape of women and chil­dren, par­tic­u­larly in our black com­mu­ni­ties, has cul­mi­nated in an out­cry full of re­vul­sion.

Nu­mer­ous ideas and sug­ges­tions have been ex­pressed about how to stop this.

I fol­lowed al­most all which has been said and sug­gested, and noth­ing has been said about the fun­da­men­tal root cause of this so­cial mal­ady we find our­selves in.

We have be­come like a per­son who con­tin­ues tak­ing Panado tablets for a headache that does not stop.

Po­lice ac­tion, death penalty, cas­tra­tion and all other forms of bru­tal­ity that have been es­poused will never de­ter this pu­trid be­hav­iour from con­tin­u­ing.

No­body, ex­cept the EFF MP who stood and ad­dressed the house in Xhosa, hit the nail on the head.

So what is the so­lu­tion? First, we have to look at where it all started.

The first thing that colonists do when they ar­rive in a for­eign land, is to con­fis­cate land by force. In South Africa, this hap­pened in 1652.

Land is life; it is food; it is where you estab­lish a fam­ily unit; it is wealth. You de­prive a peo­ple of their land, you de­hu­man­ise them.

The sec­ond thing that fol­lows af­ter con­quer­ing the land is to triv­i­alise, den­i­grate, dec­i­mate the con­quered peo­ple’s cul­ture; their cus­toms and tra­di­tions.

Fur­ther­more, without land, housing be­comes a mas­sive prob­lem. Fam­i­lies get crammed into tiny shacks in ill-ser­viced lo­ca­tions with lit­tle or no pri­vacy be­tween adult and child.

Faced with th­ese cir­cum­stances, that’s where moral­ity starts break­ing down. With th­ese val­ues lost, the fam­ily unit breaks down too.

Com­mu­ni­ties lose their self-worth and re­spect. Par­ent­hood loses its au­thor­ity.

Girls see noth­ing wrong in hav­ing ba­bies out of wed­lock be­cause boys are no longer taught the right route on how, as a young man, to be­have to­wards maid­ens.

A di­a­bol­i­cal cul­ture of men call­ing them­selves “blessers” and run­ning around with chil­dren younger than their own daugh­ters has be­come preva­lent.

Chil­dren as young as 14 years old be­come moth­ers, the ba­bies born of th­ese girls have no fu­ture in ed­u­ca­tion and so­ci­ety.

Without ed­u­ca­tion comes job­less­ness and hope­less­ness.

It be­comes a vi­cious cir­cle cul­mi­nat­ing in crime and gen­eral so­cio-eco­nomic de­pri­va­tion.

When we be­came free in 1994, one had thought that our gov­ern­ment would have iden­ti­fied this mas­sive prob­lem and given it top pri­or­ity.

In­stead, a cab­i­net min­is­ter blames the devil, how pre­pos­ter­ous, while some make hys­ter­i­cal speeches of de­ploy­ing po­lice all over the coun­try.

All th­ese prom­ises have been made be­fore.

Re­store our peo­ple’s dig­nity, pro­vide site and service for housing, pro­vide schools that are well equipped, re­gen­er­ate African moral­ity, re­duce un­em­ploy­ment to sin­gle-digit fig­ures, em­bark ag­gres­sively on in­ter-African re­gional trade, grow gross do­mes­tic prod­uct by 5% an­nu­ally, and ad­dress with great ur­gency the so­cio-eco­nomic de­pri­va­tion, then the po­lice will be ef­fec­tive in their en­deav­our. Sunny Way, Kelvin

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: A rape sur­vivor, who did not want to be iden­ti­fied, is in­ter­viewed at the Rape Cri­sis Athlone of­fice, Grass­roots Cen­tre, Cape Town.

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