S-H-O-C-K-E-R! 150 rape cases in 1 hour!
At a time that South Africa and indeed the whole continent are engulfed in football, Rape cases are threatening to overtake and score more headlines than football itself.
But more alarming statistics are coming up on rape, giving my beloved South Africa the inglorious title of the headquarters of Rape in the World.
Could you imagine that an average of 150 rape cases are committed in an hour? This staggering figure is an estimation of: The 144 rapes reported to the police every day. The Medical Research Council’s latest finding reveals that only one in 25 women in Gauteng reports rape. These two totals add up to 3 600 rapes a day.
The rage of Bredasdorp residents over the gang-rape, murder and mutilation of 17-year-old Anene Booysen is at the centre circle as many have condemned the gang-rape and murder of Anene.
Independent Newspapers visited Anene’s family at the Simunye RDP development outside Bredasdorp yesterday.
Wilma Brooks, Anene’s aunt, wept when the question of Anene’s injuries arose. After half a minute’s silence, she spoke.
“Her throat had been slit, all her fingers and both legs were broken, a broken glass bottle had been lodged in her, her stomach had been cut open… That which was supposed to be inside her body lay strewn across the scene where they found her.”
Anene was left for dead at a construction site near her home. It’s believed her attackers had followed her as she was walking home from a sports bar on Friday night. She was taken to hospital in Bredasdorp, transferred to Worcester and later to Tygerberg, where she died on Saturday afternoon.
Independent Newspapers found Anene’s mother, Corlia Olivier, at a relative’s house.
With tears in her eyes she spoke of her relationship with her daughter, who worked as a cleaner for Asla Construction.
“We were mother and daughter, but we were also best friends. She was so helpful – with her around I didn’t need a man in the house. She worked hard and helped to buy food, we shared everything.”
After years of separation due to financial difficulties, Olivier and Anene had been living together in their newly built RDP house for just two months.
“She was everything to me, and such a joyous person. I can’t recall that I ever lost my temper with her. She was just too sweet,” said Olivier.
On the morning after the attack Olivier visited her daughter at Otto du Plessis Hospital in Bredasdorp.
“From the moment I entered, I could hear her screaming: ‘Mother, mother please help me’ – without her knowing that I had come. I walked up to her bedside and saw what they had done to my girl.”
Mom and daughter shared their final words there, before Anene was transferred to Worcester.
Today Anene’s room remains as she left it: meticulously tidy, with Michael Jackson posters on the wall and flowers everywhere.
“At night when it gets quiet and I am alone is when I will miss her the most. We always used to joke that we don’t need a TV, because we had each other.
“I think I may have to get one now,” said Olivier.
I spoke to some girls on why they think that boys and men old enough to be their fathers indulge in this criminal act. Dorothy said that those who commit rapes are animals, cowards.
“They don’t need to be brutal. If they ask nicely, girls will open up for them. After all, an average South African girl loves toi-toi”, she said.
SA girls are not like Nigerian girls. They are bold and willing to make friends and go all out to give and satisfy their partner.
It takes as little as buying beer and steaks. Timi Ebikagboro, a Nigerian Journalist also blamed the girls for wearing revealing and short skirts which leaves nothing to imagination.
They roll their waists enticingly and provoke some men who cannot control themselves. The love for alcohol, smoking and drugs, no doubt, plays a major role in this dastardly act. For me, RAPES are committed by APES. Period!.
Almost everything is good and well done here in South Africa. But there are still many that need the urgent attention of Nigerians. No matter how beautiful and organized South Africa is, we still remain their big brother. That is why we also deceive ourselves with bogus titles that we are the giant of Africa.
To some extent, we are Giants. A country that is so richly endowed with everything but majority still wallow in poverty, gropes in darkness and enriches only few deserves to be given the tag of a giant.
My heart bleeds every day of my stay here in South Africa because of the care of their leaders for the poor.
But we wallow in emptiness when a few drive big expensive cars on bad roads, where mansions are built in flooded areas, and generators pollute the air endangering human lives and the innocent poor.
South Africans are still using right hand drive. That means no hand signal. I have escaped brushes not knowing where the vehicle is coming from. Their traffic control is almost perfect. Vehicles are positioned at almost every junction.
Drivers dread them. I hear they help sustain South Africa’s economy as they dish out tickets with heavy fines to overzealous drivers. Speed limits are adhered to and they clamp fines with the help of monitors that abound everywhere. But they still need our help.
And that is where LASTMA is needed. They have no discipline over making calls while driving. It is not a crime. From what I have seen, it appears to be a crime if you are driving and not making calls.
I once told my driver that LASTMA would impound his vehicle when I realized I was not in Lagos. Whoever introduced LASTMA had good intentions.
Good things hardly last in Naija before they are abused or infected. The once effective LASTMA are going the way of the police. They have been compromised by commuters. Trailers ply the roads with worn-out tires and no road signs to indicate they are long vehicles.
Once a vehicle breaks down in Lagos, they make bonfire on the middle of road in place of C-caution sign. Trees are uprooted and planted on the roads. Trailers park indiscriminately on express roads defying Government warnings.
Go to Mile 2 and Warf and see with your eyes. The beautiful work of directing traffic and easing traffic logjams have been relegated. Instead, officials now work in liaison with touts, drivers and conductors. They use the touts as their toll operators.
Most of them hide to arrest an offender instead of helping out the driver. Before I moved over to South Africa, a LASTMA official was almost knocked unconscious while chasing a vehicle whose driver was making a call. Tanker drivers are above the law. Tell them to do the right thing, they go on strike.
Out here, tankers and abnormal vehicles operate in the night. Filling stations get their fuel supplies from under-ground operations. Gases are supplied for domestic use through the same method.
There are no electric poles sparking lights and consisting danger, yet there is constant light. I am sounding like a broken calabash.
The thought of coming home with those multiple problems and traffic, hooting of car horns, sleep without electricity, drive through valleys in the name of potholes is driving me crazy. There is this urge to think twice on the offer of my South African female friend to consider staying back. Ummmmm!
What do I do? Anyway, we need leaders to show us the light so that we can find our way. It is not too much to ask.
Achebe: Exit of a literary giant