By Jackie Mapiloko
Just over a week ago I woke up to the news that my brother and his wife were shot in their home. Three bullets went through his spine and his wife was hit in the neck and stomach. He will never walk again. She is still in intensive care and can’t remember anything, even her two young kids, due to memory loss. It has been hell, to put it mildly.
I know my family is lucky considering the horrific crime stories we hear and read about every day. But it still doesn’t ease our anger, this brutal shooting shouldn’t have happened in the first place.
My ageing aunt said it was President Jacob Zuma’s fault. That if Zuma took a more pro-active stance on crime instead of reading possible solutions from a speech written by someone else, we wouldn’t be spending the night on hospital benches.
For an old and emotional woman, she was onto something. What Zuma’s government has done, intentionally or not, is to promote a culture of idolising crime and criminal activities.
If Zuma was serious about fighting crime, Schabir Shaik would still be in jail, the Specialised Commercial Crime Unit would still be up and running, the Scorpions would still be in business and his cabinet would not have characters with so many question marks hanging over their heads.
Our president’s lack of rooting out corruption in his own backyard sends nothing but a hollow sound to our ears every time he speaks about the fight against crime.
But his lack of action affects us most because it tells criminals that they can get away with murder.
It’s also hard to believe that the drastic and alarming changes happening in the justice department at the moment are meant to benefit us. How does one explain demoting hard-working prosecutors to a public that’s scared to drive home alone at night? It doesn’t make sense, and yet our president is turning a blind eye.
Maybe it’s time we accepted that all we have is ourselves. If my brother had realised this sooner, he would still be able to walk.