Those Boys From Bloem

 

The Flag of my country

 

I am a proud South African. That is all anyone needs to know. But a few days ago, some South Africans all around the world, made my stomach turn. By now, many people have read about those four idiots (I had to hold myself back here) who subjected working women who cleaned their residence at the University of the Free State (how ironic is that name!)to degrading treatment. If you have not read about it, then you need to google it – but the short of it is, they forced these women to eat a ‘stew’ they had urinated in, forced them to run a race while taunting them, and made them drink shots. That is the crux of the incident. Now add to the mix that the students were white young men and the women were older and black.

There is a reason why I first explained what they did and then added the race. While the incident is indicative of the underlying racial tensions that still exist in the post-Apartheid South Africa, this was not the primary reason why the actions of these thugs made me so upset.

Look, I don’t care what your religion is, what your political convictions are or where you live, there should be a respect for human life. I am also not looking at the world through rose tinted glasses and I know that there are many many evil people out there who prey on the innocent and the weak. There are senseless wars and huge atrocities on a global scale but I am narrowing this down to four kids who grew up more advantaged than most in an Afrikaans and no doubt Christian household. Now correct me if I am wrong, but the last time I checked Christianity preached compassion, humanity and decency. Precisely what these boys are lacking. Their parents did not do their job in instilling these virtues in their children. What these thugs did is despicable and a gross abuse of the student-worker relationship. These women cleaned their toilets, scrubbed their floors and showers for heaven sake!

But you know, the disgrace of their actions was not all that made my blood boil. Oh no, there is more! I read the article on the Sky News Website and then went on to read the comments expecting the same shock and disgust that I was feeling. But what I read there was doubling the crime! All these comments from obviously white South Africans (most of them living abroad) criticizing Sky News for making such a big deal of the story. Why, they asked, did the news station not report on the black-on-white crime, the rape of white women by black men (their words, not mine) and there was even one comment about the fact that actually, black people were not the rightful people of certain places in South Africa!!!! These comments were not limited to ten, even twenty pages – there were over 100 pages of racist comments from young people who condoned what the students did!

I will tell you that I do not live in South Africa anymore. Careers took us abroad but I am still South African, living in hope for my new country and proud to sing Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika (but not Die Stem). These racist commentators give other true and proud South Africans a bad reputation. They do our wonderful country and other good South Africans who live abroad and even those white South Africans still living at home, such an injustice and for that I disown them as my fellow countrymen. I do not condone crime – who in their right mind would – but inhumane treatment for the enjoyment of others, mockery and the severe lack of common decency and respect is unacceptable and these students and their supporters should hang their heads in shame!

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~ by ski holidays on March 10, 2008.

One Response to “Those Boys From Bloem”

  1. what they did was a disgrace!

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