South Africa – a country ruled by crime?

South Africa – a country ruled by crime?
South Africa crime

Buffalo City, South Africa – Crime… It knows no race, gender or religion. No of us are immune, it drives fear into the bravest of men.

Have we become a country ruled by crime? Or could it be that due to the amount of crime experienced in our city, that it has become socially acceptable.

My colleague contacted me this morning, and inquired about the crime reports in our area for the last 10 days, which was nothing unusual. Then he informed me of a horrendous crime that had taken place a few blocks from where I live.

My first reaction was, impossible – we know about all serious incidents which take place. Only to realise sometimes things happen, and the rest of the community it totally unaware. Shocked, I ask myself how does this happen? How close knit is our community really, and how much we really know about the crimes that take place around us.

In the glorious, safe, and upmarket Village of Gonubie, what is often described as the seaside paradise – I was given the opportunity today to meet with Alwyn (64), a victim of a house robbery.

I had been warned by my fellow CSBC colleague not to be shocked when I meet the victim due to the extent of his injuries.

My partner accompanies me to a quiet part of “The Avenues” were we are to meet Alwyn, it Is the first time since the attack that he is allowing anyone excepting the SA Police and CSBC into the home where he was brutally attacked.

As I push the intercom button and wait a while, Alwyn comes down the drive way to open the gate for us. From a distance, I clearly notice how he continues to look around him, how slumped his shoulders are and then I see the impact of the injuries sustained by him.

I have to force myself not to grasp… He is not just bruised; the bleeding underneath the skin is so excessive and deep that the discolouration is black.

The bruising discolours the complete left hand side of his face, and continues till underneath his chin. He has numerous, (+-6) abrasions to his clean shaven head, which have all been sutured with stitches and his left ear appears to be torn in half.

I force myself to formally introduce myself and my partner, and to remain as professional as possible. When he finally opens the gate, I have to look at the grass, as all I wanted to do was to put my arms around this man I have never met, who could have been my father, or a loved one.

We stand outside a while and start talking about the incident which took place. He mentioned that he has seen his attacker before, in the yard of a house situated behind him, and that he would be able to identify him.

His voice shakes as he shows me the blood residue on the wooden porch outside the front door. To try and understand this, I ask “was anything stolen?” calmly he says, Yes R 3500 in cash, my Nokia Cell phone, two containers containing collectable coins, and an Electric Shaver.

We enter the house through the garage, The first thing I notice is how safety conscious Alwyn is, waiting until the remote controlled garage door is firmly shut, before he takes the key out to unlock the wooden door leading into the living room. Once again he locks the door once we have entered.

I look around and the first thing I notice is the blood splatters on the living room floor, they leave a trial down the passage, to a locked door.

My heart beats faster; it could only be the spare room in which he was attacked. Alwyn stands at the door of the room, his face pale, and his voice shaking… “You can come and look, but I have not been inside the room since that day, everything is exactly the same.

I take a few steps past him, and enter the room… I will stop there.

We take a seat in the living room, and Alwyn tells me his story.

Last week Thursday morning, as per usual Alwyn’s new domestic worker arrived for work. He left the house to go and open the gate for her. Both Alwyn and the domestic go into the house, where after he closes the door per usual. The domestic started her routine cleaning, while he sat in his usual place on the lazy boy in the lounge.

In hindsight, a certain action remains on Alwyn’s mind. His domestic worker stripped his bed of the bedding and took it through to the washing machine, and she continuously pressed buttons although she had full knowledge of how the machine operated.

When she walked through the living room, Alwyn asked her about two empty wallets that were left on the dining room table, which he had noticed were no longer there. After establishing that she did not know the whereabouts, Alwyn got up to go and check in the spare room if he had not maybe left them in the spare room.

As we talk the expression on his face changes, he looks down and takes his spectacles off. Then lights a Camel light before continuing. “But I always lock the door, even if the key is left in it” are his words. I swallow hard, this must be so difficult for him emotionally to relive…

He continuous- “I opened the bedroom door, still wondering why the door was not locked, but didn’t think too much of it. Suddenly he was there, standing behind the door, with my 2 pound hammer in his hand.

I just felt the blow to the left side of my face… I fell to the ground and he just continued to hit me with the hammer, blow after blow. I think I tried to grab onto his belt, and I kicked his shins with the heel of my foot. I shouted for the domestic to help, but she had run away…. “

As I sit in the living room and having walked through the house, seeing the blood splatters on the floor, of the living room, passage and having been in the spare room which Is undisturbed since the crime took place, my mind runs riot.

I bow my head and question- What if? How? Why? Slowly I look at Alwyn, who visible is filled with fear, and then I notice every door around us is locked, and the curtains are drawn…

I ask his permission to write this article, and to share it with the followers of Crime Spotter Buffalo City as well as the photographs that had been taken.

For a minute he does not answer, then he lifts his head and says “Please don’t tell them where I live, but please do share my story… even if it helps one person”

The sadness and fear in his eyes, make me realise- nobody is immune to becoming a victim of crime. His life will never be the same again… all of this trauma, invasions of privacy and complete insecurity should never have to be experienced by anyone…

Crime Spotter Buffalo City

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