The Star Late Edition

Senseless killers should be hanged


ON TUESDAY, March 10 2009, I went to visit my friend and pharmacist, Rob Taylor, at Edenvale Pharmacy. Although extremely busy at the time, he still gave me his usual, warm greeting and inquired about my family’s well being.

He attended to my request immediatel­y, and we parted company. Little did I know that that was the last time I would ever see that healthy, vibrant man alive.

The following afternoon, on Wednesday at approximat­ely 2.30pm, a number of gunmen walked past the security guard, through the front door, into his office, stole money and shot him dead.

He did not have a chance to comply with their wishes; no amount of money could have saved him. They struck, killed and ran away. They will probably never be caught. The terror happened swiftly, they accomplish­ed their goal, killing for a few rands, and my friend is dead.

Let me tell you a little bit about the Rob I knew. He was a happily married man with a beautiful wife, and he dedicated his life to helping others.

He was extremely intelligen­t and well educated, with degrees and diplomas and a huge quest for knowledge.

He had a very positive outlook on life and spent hours educating us with his extensive understand­ing of medicine, comforting and consoling us when we felt desperate and hopeless, advising us when we were unsure which route to take. He always supported the doctor’s choice of script, but to me he was the very best diagnostic­ian of all.

He shared his knowledge with all who needed it. He was an extremely compassion­ate and caring person, who was always willing to go that extra mile for us. He was our friend, our mentor, our wonderful Rob.

To be savagely and senselessl­y murdered the way he was, is totally beyond my com- prehension. Do these criminals and murderers, for whom life has no value, ever realise whose life they have taken?

Do they care? I guess that is a rhetorical question because they did not even hesitate about whether or not to pull that trigger. It is so easy today to steal a gun, to kill people in cold blood, in broad daylight with no consequenc­es, no trial, no retributio­n.

If the criminals are injured in their attacks, they will receive the best free medical attention and probably never have to pay any penalties.

If the victims are “lucky” enough to survive, some might have to spend the rest of their lives paying for the privilege.

I can use all the known cliches about our society today… the total injustice of it all, the rife corruption, from government to businesses, the lack of skills by our ministers who have already made us the laughing stock of the world when they suggest the use of garlic and beetroot to prevent and cure HIV/Aids.

I can voice my opinion about enforcing the death penalty if perpetrato­rs are caught so that there could be some element of justice for all the wrong-doings, in some kind of attempt to stop this intolerabl­e vicious criminalit­y. But I am not in politics and that decision is not up to me.

For me, the most upsetting factor of all is that our society has become so desensitis­ed to the viciousnes­s of what we endure every day, that I did not even hear a report on the radio or an article in the newspapers about Rob’s murder.

Not a mention of the wonderful person that we lost. There are so many crimes to report that people have become nameless and faceless. And so, “In one of four robberies in Gauteng today, an Edenvale pharmacist was killed”.

Robbie, you did not deserve to die, but I can not change that. All that I can do is tell whoever reads this that at least I want the world to know that you were a wonderful person who deserved to die with dignity.

We salute you, my friend, and hope to meet you again one day in a far better place.

 ??  ?? A man reads an anti-crime poster erected near a makeshift gallows during a protest recently. A reader has called for murderers to pay the ultimate price for their deeds.
A man reads an anti-crime poster erected near a makeshift gallows during a protest recently. A reader has called for murderers to pay the ultimate price for their deeds. PICTURE: ZANELE ZULU

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