I just had to get this out in the open.
Something I heard the other day made me slightly disturbed. It shocked me to be honest, and I’ve been thinking of what it could mean ever since I first heard about it.
Let me start by saying this:
If you were a tourist, or even just someone seeing South Africa from an outsider’s perspective, do you look at this country and immediately think: ‘Third world country’?
I ask this because of a belief I had, that was recently squashed under the giant heel of something we like to call: reality.
Here is the story.
A friend of mine was walking down Long Street in Cape Town a few weeks ago; it was broad daylight and everything seemed to be in order. Until, upon turning a corner, he was met witha knife to the side and hushed, yet harsh orders, telling him to empty his pockets.
That’s right. A mugging took place. In broad daylight, in one of the busiest streets in Cape Town. But this is not uncommon. This kind of thing happens all the time, and is not accepted, yet it is expected. It’s what happened during this experience that puzzled me.
The attacker emptied the pockets of said friend, and when enquiring as to what was in his other pocket (he already had secured the mobile phone and contents of the wallet) he was told it just contained cigarettes or something similar to avoid further prying… Unfortunately, while removing the cigarettes from his pocket to prove to the mugger that he wasn’t lying, he let slip an earphone out of his pocket. The earphone was attached to an iPod. Naturally.
- Phone (Check)
- Money (Check)
- iPod (Check)
So the mugger had obtained all that was possible. I suppose he could now say he’d had a productive day. But the story doesn’t end here.
Realizing the troubles he would have to go through to get a new phone, not to mention the mission it would be to contact evreyone and give them a new number, my friend decided to brave asking the attacker a serious favor.
Friend: I’m sorry, but could I maybe have my sim-card? From the cellphone?
Hmmm… Here is where things get interesting. The reply he recieved from this street-tough was this:
Mugger: Fuck you. Get a sim-swap.
Excuse me? (Cough-cough) Sorry, I just choked on my values. Sim-swap you say? Care to explain? What is this sim-swap? DO YOU WORK FOR VODACOM???
No. ‘Tis the sad truth my friends…
This proves one thing. Most people are not stealing to survive, they are stealing to steal. Because they can. Because it’s just an easier way out. That person has something that I want, therefore, I will take it from them – by force if needed – because I’m pretty sure that I deserve it as much (if not more) than they do.
Ah! The whole concept (if you can call it that) behind stealing is just so primative it makes me sick. Yet these people stealing things and mugging people; they know about sim-swaps? What is going on???
You would think that poverty in South Africa has reached an all time high. With very little job opportunities, it’s harder to obtain an education, and therefore, harder to progress in the work world, resulting in leading a mediocre life in a township or urban settlement. This leads to a life of crime and stealing to survive…
No. While the above statement may still ring true, this is (sadly) not the case most times.
People who turn to crime aren’t starved, desperate, jobless vagrants that have to keep on their toes to survive in the dog-eat-dog world of the streets. Not all the time.
People who commit crimes are often educated individuals who do bad things for one main reason, and that reason is: because they can.
They know they can, and they don’t feel bad about it. They want something, and they are not going to stop until they get it, even if it means stabbing someone and leaving them to bleed in an alley. They honestly don’t care.
You see, people have this picture in their head of crime. They see it like it’s happening below them. It’s NOT happening below you, it’s happening all around you. Below, left, right and also, above. Even South Africa’s (and indeed, many other countries) government is corrupt. What kind of example is that? If you are going to commit a crime, why not do it properly and take the time to plan it so that you don’t get caught.
This is always an idea to keep in mind if you’re thinking of trying out FOR PRESIDENT.
People underestimate South Africa. It has a lot of potential, but we don’t utilize it. We need to start something new. This is a new generation. A generation where white guys meet black girls on MXit, marry them, and have Asian babies.
We are all starting to become united under one flag. It may not be an official flag, but soon enough this generation will have the authority to make it official.
But there is one thing standing in the way of that happening. And that is stupidity. Stupidity meaning: lack of forsight, laziness, thoughtlessness, lack of compassion, lack of morals and lack of education. And unfortunately the solution to this isn’t clear. There is no set-in-stone way around this, we will just have to tough it out and learn from our mistakes. Eventually we will come right.
As for my friend… well… he was devestated about the loss of his iPod and phone, so he broke into a house and killed an entire family and took their belongings.
It ain’t a crime until you’re caught 😉