'Hi, my name's Ben and I once lived in Fish Hoek.'
There are no support groups for people like me. Perhaps the shame is too great. And so the yearning for unburdening and cupidity for catharsis remains unrequited.
At the crack of a day’s dawn, I escaped from my marriage. It was outrageously dysfunctional, even by my standards. I drifted further south, to a smaller village where everyone looks as if they’ve just been shipwrecked. I blended right in.
Best I don’t get sidetracked. A couple of weeks ago, this popped up on Facebook.
“Fish Hoek Tourism offers holistic health holidays and until recently visitors arrived to enjoy the many pastimes available here for their wellbeing and peace of mind. All this changed when murders of hikers and attacks on beaches took place. Fish Hoek Tourism is getting guidance from AfriForum to put matters right and restore harmony so that holidaymakers will be able to resume their relaxing and beneficial time spent here.”
Frankly, I’m not sure that even the paramilitary wing of AfriForum will be able to end the carnage. This is going to take more than an aggressive display of two-tone shirts, beer bellies and bakkies. The statistics are terrifying. Last year in Fish Hoek, the murder rate shot up by a staggering 300%. The slaughter in 2017 was bad enough, with one person being murdered. Then came 2018, a year drenched in blood, when four were killed.
The attempted murder figures are equally grim. In 2017, nobody in Fish Hoek tried to kill anyone. But then, in the new year, the floodgates of hell opened up and four people tried their hand at murder but failed dismally.
AfriForum is going to have to bring in serious reinforcements if it hopes to save Fish Hoek. The town once proudly hosted a branch of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging. I say branch, but it was probably little more than a converted kaya down in the avenues of the doomed. Unlike AfriForum, the AWB was made up of real men, with real drinking problems and real white supremacist attitudes. What a pity they’re not still around.
It’s not just violent crime that is tearing Fish Hoek apart. Robbery with aggravating circumstances rose from 28 to 71 cases. In local terms, an aggravating circumstance is when the maid takes half a loaf of bread without the madam’s permission, causing the madam to become aggravated.
Home robberies shot up from seven to 23, although, given the median age of residents, it’s quite possible that half of them simply misplaced the alleged stolen goods. There was also an alarming 166% spike in sexual offences. From six cases to sixteen. In Fish Hoek, looking at a woman for longer than five seconds is considered a sexual offence.
As far as I’m concerned, the biggest crime in Fish Hoek is that it doesn’t have a bottle store. It’s one of the reasons my marriage broke down. There are a couple of scabrous dens of iniquity, including The Victorian Times at the bad end of town. Not that there’s a good end. For a while I was something of a regular at this tavern, although the true locals are held together with string and stuck to the bar with gaffer tape so that if they do die they will at least remain upright instead of falling off their stools and blocking access to the pool table.
Fish Hoek Tourism has yet to explain what AfriForum’s role will be in combatting this brutal crime wave. While there was mention of “getting guidance”, an earlier post said AfriForum had “agreed to help us plan to eliminate murders”. The surest way of eliminating murders is to eliminate murderers, but that would take a lot of planning and nobody, least of all white people, wants to be out in the Cape winter doing vigilante work for Jesus.
That’s the other thing. Fish Hoek is infested with churches. There are at least twenty of them. The Presbyterians have a handwritten sign up saying, “Don’t wait for six strong men to take you to church.” A crudely drawn coffin accompanies this joyful message. I don’t even know six strong men. I’ll have to die at the Vic.
St Peters has a banner saying, “You can trust God with your data.” I swear, I am so over MTN and Telkom that I could almost go there on Sunday and find out more about this deal. Almost. The Dutch Reformed Church is an unsmiling edifice. Whenever I drive past it I fully expect to burst into flames. I almost did, once, but that was more because I dropped a joint.
The first thing you see coming into Fish Hoek is the police station. It looks like it was modelled on the administration building at Auschwitz. If you’re not stopped at one of their detestable roadblocks, breathalysed and tossed into a cell to be sodomised by a fighting general in the 28s, the main road runs a gauntlet of low-slung buildings painted in shades of drab, Pantone’s colour of the year in 1818, the same year the criminally insane woman who owned Fish Hoek banned the sale of alcohol in the town.
The road is littered with second-hand shops selling rubbish to third-hand people, a Chinese restaurant offering Durban curry and bunny chow, dodgy law firms, a clothing shop called AP Jones that opened in 1928 with fashions to match, a grooming parlour offering a free nail clipping service but who are quick to turn you away if you aren’t a dog and a state hospital that will go out of its way to make sure you leave in a worse condition than when you arrived.
Meantime, Fish Hoek Tourism continues promoting “activities designed to invigorate, rejuvenate and restore vitality”. The best way to do this is by having AfriForum impose dusk-to-dawn curfews with attack dogs chasing stragglers through the streets. By stragglers, you know who I mean. Random strip searches would certainly rejuvenate the older folk. Nothing restores vitality quicker than a 140kg farmer’s son smelling of stale brandy and eau de zealot rubbing his hands up your varicose-veined legs.
While the suburb has always been a Jenga puzzle of streets inexplicably cut off from the sea by a railway line, nobody should think there will be freedom of movement once AfriForum’s elite Holistic Health Holidays Unit arrives.
The valley will be divided into sectors controlled by certified Caucasians who can hold the line. And their drink. I’m not suggesting a Potsdam Conference, but German, French and British tourists will be expected to remain vigilant and safeguard the proud legacy of this jewel of the south.
Never forget that Masiphumelele is only seven kilometres from the western edge.
Harmony will be restored.
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