The mind races each time you are hit by breaking news and newspaper headlines shouting at you that a place here and a place there has come under gun fire attack meted out by marauding assailants in the wee hours of the morning.
Sadly, innocent people are maimed and lives lost whenever this happens. Families and loved ones of the victims of these mass shootings are left with a dark cloud hanging over their heads and festering emotional wounds.
There is talk that isandla semfene is behind these senseless killings done by these rogue elements. Until the investigation is done and dusted, we can only speculate as to what is behind all this.
These days, merely going out with friends and/or family to public spaces is like playing Russian roulette – you are uncertain whether, or not you will make it back home safely and sound, or become another statistic.
Case in point, recently, a group of evil and heartless criminals travelling in a Toyota Quantum, mowed down revellers, mafia-style, at a tavern in Orlando East, Soweto, the same modus operandi was used in KZN, Katlehong in Ekurhuleni, Alex, north of Joburg, Eldorado Park, south of Joburg, the list is endless. Last week, shoppers faced gun-wielding men at Kagiso Mall. The nation is still reeling from and dumbfounded by these dastardly deeds.
In a perfect world, it is the democratic right of any law-abiding citizen to look up to the state to provide security from criminals, thuggery and would-be terrorists or “rebel attacks” 24/7. But that only happens in a country where state security agencies are constantly on high alert and have the ability, motivation and the desire to protect its citizenry.
In South Africa, the opposite is true. Our security or intelligence agencies are forever reactive. The only time they spring into action is after the effect – when the damage is already done.
We have witnessed this unfold right in front of our own eyes during last year’s looting incidents that swept across KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, respectively. The police, military and intelligence services were caught napping and literally with their pants down!
After the whole shebang, we were told by those in authority that there were “instigators” behind the looting of shops and businesses and that some unknown forces were hell-bent on rendering this country ungovernable. Politicians climbed on podiums and called media briefings in an attempt to lull us. They told all and sundry that the perpetrators of the looting “would be apprehended and put behind bars in no time”. A year and a month went by and still no arrests have been made, letv alone show us the so-called instigators.
In light of the recent killings, expecting the system of agencies that includes armed forces, intelligence and other law enforcement bodies in this country to be on high alert is tantamount to drawing water from a stone – highly impossible.