As I read the headline of an article about President Zuma expressing that the problem with this country is violence I heard my silent voice saying "oh the president is focusing on some crucial issues in our lifetime!" However, by the time I finished reading the piece I was singing another tune. It seems that we are shifting the blame as a country, blaming our social ills to 'immigrants'. Let's face it, South Africans are still dealing with racial issues and tribalism, imagine what happens when you add other nations?!
Well, a few weeks ago I would not have so many examples backing up the violent nature in our country. In fact I would have held down a debate supporting the motherland as one of the safe spaces one can live in. Now tables have turned, I've read about numerous fatal robberies in the spaces we frequent including, two or three, which are very similar to my own personal experience.
I had just gotten a whole R100 bucks fresh hair cut on Long Street when I found myself debating whether I should go to my favourite bar or not, tiredness won, had to head home... So I called that most 'reliable' ride, Uber! This was just after 6pm, daylight for Cape Town Summer early evening. So the taxi pulls up at the corner of Long & Strand Street and I did something I've never done before! The driver said it is getting late, I should sit in the front, I hate that, I prefer holding it down at the back you know. In any case I just went in, I had no time to chat with him about my preference, I was just counting down the minutes, to get home and unwrap everything I bought during the day, as one does.
And ohh boy! The unexpected happened, literarily in less than three minutes, the last traffic lights decided to switch to red and bam over eight hands landed in front of the car, smashing windows, yanking me out of the car, a second has never been that long in my entire life! They were shouting words like Sfebe etc, and that's all I remember, I gained my conscious in hospital and to this day I am still confused about the whole ordeal. I lost everything I had, phone, camera lenses etc. The least of my worry, now all I remember is how scared I was, how the tears wouldn't stop, I honestly thought it was a gun. I've well recovered but I must say this could have happened to anyone, too random of a case for prevention measures. With that said, the taxi driver was not South African and familiar scornful comments indicated that being an outsider made him/us a target. Now I cannot vouch that the guys who attacked us were under drug influence or care much for that bit.
Undeniably, there's a lot of groundwork that still needs to be done to fight violence and crime at large in our country. Immigrants are just the same as us, let's deal with the real issue; fight it in hand with 'single' stereotypes. We simply cannot go on with all legal or illegal immigrants are drug lords and claim not being xenophobic.