SA’s Top 10 Crimesby Brandon Edmonds, Image by Conrad Botes / 19.10.2009
Crime, as ubiquitous to the South African psyche as sunny skies and boerewors. In this new series, Mahala makes a list of the top ten SA crimes in our lifetime.
Number 1. Rape. Yes, we may have spawned a Saint in Mandela, remain the high water mark of negotiated transitions to liberal democracy and our stirring Constitution is required reading for law students everywhere, but man are we evil to our sisters! Consent is the last thing on our dirty minds. In a UN study on sexual violence (1998-2000), we were tops. Numero Uno. That’s globally. We commit 55000 rapes a year. That’s a rape every 40 seconds. In the time it takes to pee or boil the kettle or answer your cell phone or take a lift to the second floor, a woman is raped in this country. Things have actually worsened this decade. A Medical Research Council report, released this year, making global news, found 1 in 4 SA men admitted raping! Repeatedly. Over 1700 men of all races were sampled electronically. The report, according to Time magazine, suggests ‘a deeply rooted culture of violence against women in which men rape in order to feel powerful, and do so with impunity…men most likely to rape were not the poorest, but those who had attained some level of education and income.’ That’s us. The men around you. Not to mention the fucking leader of this country! In his 2006 rape trial he admitted having sex with an HIV-positive family friend who was asking for it being ‘provocatively’ dressed in a traditional kanga wrap and Zulu culture, as he testified, insists that a palpably horny woman be seen to. This is the guy who’ll open the World Cup next year. Makes you think mindless ‘bitch n ho’ Gangsta rap ought to be censored. Beer outlawed. Prostitution legalized. And chemical castration made mandatory for repeat offenders. 40 seconds. Holy fuck. As Wiki puts it, ‘a woman born in South Africa has a greater chance of being raped than learning how to read’. Disgusting.
Image © and courtesy Conrad Botes