Sometimes, when danger lurks, the Bogeyman is all too familiar.
The victim and victimiser in rape, murder and assault charges are those close to us.
They are family members who were raised with us, by us … what has become of the family unit meant to the be the core of our society?
In the Northern Cape, a mother was raped and killed by her own son. The night started with them sharing a bottle of wine under a tree, ending with a mother killed at the hands of a child she bore, raised and, ultimately, shared her last drink with.
The beaming eyes that witnessed the birth become the eyes filled with fear as she stared into the eyes of her killer… this is the new face of family in South Africa. How did we get there?
Take a 1,470km drive to the sleepy town of Barberton in Mpumalanga: a 62-year-old mother is allegedly killed by her two daughters, with their boyfriends, for a payout of a measly R80,000.
But not just killed – her daughters are alleged to have held her down for the men to violate and rape her. Finally, she is dumped along a road after being kept in an outside toilet…
What happened to the sanctuary and safety in family? If your family will not protect you, society won’t be any kinder.
We are broken from the inside out – there is no way we can be healed holistically.
The jails will remain overcrowded because home is no longer a model of love, care and a sense of family. Now, family is another hurdle to survive. Now, family members are meant to survive each other.
We need to face the truth – uncomfortable as it is: the family unit is gone because of absent mothers and fathers, ethics that are situational and parenting that is just not there.
Blame external factors such as the use of alcohol and drugs, the seedy neighbourhood, crime and gangsterism but, ultimately, our children remain our responsibility as a family.
During apartheid, the migrant labour system was to be blamed – but in 2020 we have to work on fixing the family.
While we cannot fix all our ills – we can redress a wound that needs urgent attention.
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