And how quickly a heart hardens again in South Africa…


You should see what I wrote, and deleted.

I am able to kill somebody. I discovered that yesterday.

I had an extremely long night on the bus from Cape Town to Pretoria. My wife and daughter met me at the station to pick me up. We dropped my daughter off at her home, I went to take a shower and a coffee at my mother’s house. Then, as it being my 24 th wedding anniversary. took my wife to a dinner before driving the last 130 km home.

In the time we sat at dinner, I received a Whatsapp message from my daughter, just enquiring if we were still in Pretoria.  She just said she was longing for our company a little, but she was ok.  I should have picked up something major was wrong.  But we didn’t. When we arrived home, my mother called. My daughter was at her home.

Just after we dropped her off yesterday afternoon, she decided to go for a walk in a guarded suburb of Pretoria.  A man approached her from behind, and hit her with the fist, a huge blow to the eye. He then discovered that she didn’t have her mobile phone with her, and ran off.  My daughter is traumatized again, after being attacked again… She was showered with broken glass in a smash & grab attack behind Menlyn centre last year. Those guys selling all the shit at the traffic lights… This is life in South Africa.  We are in a position where your child gets beat up, and you are just so happy that she wasn’t killed or raped.  It does not help to report it to police, nothing happens anyway, just another statistic that gets kept silent, when our police minister tells us crime rates  is coming down…

I do not want to publish the photo of my daughter’s face. But  I want to say this: people outside South Africa wonder why there are vagrant people being beaten up when they are where they don’t belong. (Waterkloof 4) . This is the reason.

Why do people live in fear, and shoot without seeing who they are shooting at, like maybe what happened to Oscar? “How could he”- all the civilized people of the world are asking. How can there be so much gun violence in South Africa?

Because we are afraid. Because we get beaten up and murdered, and not 10% of crimes are solved.  They will find you if you do not pay at the hated etoll gates in Gauteng province. But you have a 90% chance to get away with murder.

I live in a very peaceful little town. The local newspaper greeted me yesterday with this story:

In a very secure residential area with 50 houses, a lady of 86 years old was attacked by her gardener, who worked for her for 5 years. All the people in this security estate knows the gardener as a friendly, reliable chap. Well, he asked the lady for R3000  (about $300) after working hours. When she did not have that amount, he started hitting her, and torturing her from 17h00 till MIDNIGHT.  Being a lot of elderly people living there, nobody heard her screaming! Finally, as he got hold of a bank card, he went to withdraw some money. She got loose and fired of a few shots with her personal weapon. Then the neighbours heard her. The attacker came back,  and she screamed his name. He ran away and the police is looking for him…  Why did he need R 3000 so suddenly? To pay for training for being a witchdoctor (Sangoma!)

Why do we have weapons? Because we die if we don’t have them. Because you can call our emergency number, something like 911, in our country 10111, and the phone can ring for hours. When you get to the police station, all the officers on duty will be laying asleep around a barrel of KFC. When you wake them, they will say there is only 1  vehicle working, and probably it is off stealing sheep somewhere.

I know- our town’s police is not like that, they were really soon on the scene when the old lady got hurt. I have some very dedicated police officers in our church.   But our newspapers are full of stories where people gets murdered, and the police don’t even investigate. Murder dossiers gets misplaced for R100. If you are not Oscar Pistorius, forensic evidence can take up to 2 YEARS to get processed.

My daughter got beat up. The old lady in our town got tortured. And we are just so happy they are alive.

We have a beautiful word: GATVOL-  When you are extremely fed up with a situation you can’t change.

I am totally GATVOL this evening, and  I really wish I sent my daughter to karate classes from the age of 3, that she could really hurt assholes like that.  And if I have came upon this scene, with ANYONE’s daughter being hit in the face by some illegal immigrant, I would have tried my best to really hurt that asshole.

I usually get into a lot of trouble when I use “Asshole” and “Bullshit” in my blog. That is our kind of society, people frown upon rough words. But we are getting immune to violence and murder.  I hate living like this. I hate worrying every evening if my daughter is ok in the city.

Sorry that you have to see this side of me. I really tried to be a part of the solution of South Africa’s problems. I failed.  TIA.


The end of beauty- taken at a Stop & Go on the way down to Cape Town on my motorbike…

PS- If you really want to see what a loveable “Gardener” can do in South Africa- look at this photo, not for sensitive viewers.





24 thoughts on “And how quickly a heart hardens again in South Africa…

  1. i’m sorry to read these words, but i thank you for sharing them. sending you and your daughter lots of strength and peace. it is a good reminder for me to appreciate the things about my hometown that i sometimes take for granted! aleya

  2. I feel for you having been a victim of crime, fortunately no violence, but still. What a pity Alan Paton bumped off because I would love to have the Cry Beloved Country’s groot bek today

  3. My heart goes out to you! How to live like that??? We have no conception outside of SA. Who are we to judge? I don’t like the Pretorius situation but hate the way it’s shown on TV. What a world when you can’t keep your family safe! Hugs!

  4. Shit! Ek het erger woorde as dit, maar sal eerder myself inhou. Ek is so jammer jou dogter het seergekry. En sy sal moet gaan vir traumaberading – jy weet dit né. Dink baie aan julle. En ja, soos ek laaste op my blog ook gesê het – hierdie verdomde land. Maar dis nie die land nie – dis ons huidige regering – maak nie saak hoe mens daarna kyk nie.

  5. I’m sorry to hear about the attack on your daughter Rider, violence in SA is a reason why I won’t live there again, nor will my daughter even though we both love the country and she has many friends living there. My ex-husband was murdered in Johannesburg and no one was caught. The stress of that had such an effect on his mother that she died not too long after. It is a sad situation for all that there is no control from the top. My thoughts are with you and your family.
    Jude xx

  6. Sterkte daar ek voel met jou en baie mense steeds in SA. Party dae wonder ek of die lewe werklik die moeite werd is. Dan dink ek weer ek is veilig hier waar ek nou is maar steeds kry ek seer as ek hoor van die dinge want dis daaglikse gebeure, nie net sommer elke nou en dan se voorval nie. Voor ek weg is uit SA moes ek met n rewolwer onder my sitplek ry as ek Pta toe gaan of self Naboom of Pietersburg toe. Dis nie hoe die lewe moet wees nie! Het self ook dinge deurgemaak wat hare laat rys. Die trauma gaan nie sommer verby nie. Baie bid en weer vertrou help maar dis swar.

  7. Before I say anything I really do hope your daughters beautiful face is looking better and her strength is healed for her to take new steps forward
    I also wish you would send your well written letter/blog to the Media ~ it needs to be read not just by us lucky ones that have discovered your blog but by this whole beautiful sick and terrified country.
    Strength to you all as a family

  8. You’re allowed to rage about this, Vosper. In fact, if you didn’t rage about it there’d be something really wrong with you. I have a .pdf of an article I’d like to share with you, but no idea of how to include a .pdf in a comment ! I wonder if it’s possible …?

  9. Thankyou for this post. My prayers are with you and your family. I am fortunate to live in safety and peace in rural NSW, Australia. Life has not always been so calm however. For many years I lived in PNG with violence, discrimination, bitterness and criminality. I was attacked. We were robbed. My daughter awoke to find a ‘raskal’ hovering over her bed. Luckily her screams awoke us and she was physically safe but still carries emotional harm. Friends carried guns. Armed guards were an everyday part of life. But yet we loved being there. 99% of the people were the friendliest, kindest souls who genuinely cared for each other. Isn’t that the saddest part – the good are overshadowed by the bad. The media plays a part in all this. Which newspapers are successful because they only tell the good news? As Christians we must continue to be prophets of hope in a challenging world.
    I continue to read and enjoy your blog. Take care and God bless.

  10. I know how you feel and that is is reason why both my children left this country! We are still here , but do life behind bars! How sad! Be strong and all we can do is to pray for protection every day! Take care!

  11. It saddens me when I hear of these things! Ode for a world without weapons, without fear, without hate……

    Your cat will recover quickly and totally forget what happened, happy in the knowledge that he has a human slave who feeds him on demand 😉

  12. I have no idea how I stumbled upon your page/blog, but enjoyed touring down to the Cape on the back of your bike through the frequent e-mails…
    I was touched in the way you reached souls for the Lord.

    I live at Settlers, only about 30km from Modimole.
    I read the same newspaper as you and feel the same ‘oach’ and ‘gatvol’ in my heart…
    My boy also lives in Pretoria. (1st year student) and every time I just SEE on whatsapp that he is online I thank the Lord that he is ok.
    You’ve raised a point that will be repeating in my head for a long time…
    ‘They will find you if you do not pay at the hated etoll gates in Gauteng province. But you have a 90% chance to get away with murder.’ This is so sad, but sooooo true.

    But we know, what we know, what we know!
    No matter how big our life-storms may be; our Saviour can walk on water!

    The Lord gave me this verse just now as I was praying for a message of hope:
    Isaiah 9:4 (New Living Translation)
    ‘For God will break the chains that bind His people and the whip that scourges them, just as He did when He destroyed the army of Midian with Gideon’s little band.’

    Blessings and peace for you.

  13. I see you brother (as they said on the film Avatar)… not to trivialise one bit, but I hear your pain and your anger. We, like probably most of your blog followers, have not met, but have conversed back n forth since last June (you were my first follower), and I suppose I get the feel for who you are. But with this post, the detail, the anger, and frustration is clear, and I have a feeling how much this hurts with your language usage alone. Tea and sympathy; that’s about all any of us can offer, but it’s there mate. I lived for many years in the ‘civilised west’, and I now too see a very different side of life here in Turkey; certainly not on the scale of atrocities you have in SA, but with honour killings, every villager’s shotgun being the score settler, political and civil unrest a regular feature of what is now a highly polarised society and a police force that is more a government enforcer than a protector of the public, I get the gist of it. Be safe. Spike

  14. My heart goes out to you, I understand what it’s like, you need to write about it to share the brutal truth and indeed it’s ironic how people can be so utterly offended by swear words, but don’t blink at threats and violence. God bless you and your family, I join my voice will all in prayers every day for a solution for the evil ruining South Africa.

    • I am not talking from my heart tonight, I am not a violent person. I do enjoy gun sports like target shooting, but not really hunting. actually, Switzerland has the most guns in the world per capita, and they have the least gun violence. It is not the guns that are the problem, it is human beings hating each other…

  15. PS- This is not an April Fool Joke… My cat also have not found it funny when he got neutered today, he is looking at me with hate filled eyes, and soon will be off to cancel a lot of appointments.

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