Another day in South Africa? Maybe. But this time very close to home.
Last night I decided to go down to the local club / pub, to chat with the boys, have a colddrink or two. Got there at about 10 past 8.
At 20 to 9 the cell phone rings. I check, and it's a mate who lives two houses down from me, so I take the call. He tells me he's at the local private hospital. His brothers been shot!!
So I finish my drink, and rush down there. Moral support and all.
His brother, wife and 2 year old daughter are sitting in their home. Driveway gates closed. Next minute the front door flies open. He jumps up and pushes it closed, and the first shot is fired. Enters his chest to the right of the heart, through the right lung, exits below his left shoulder blade. The guys kick the door open again. Take another shot at him, hits him high in the right arm. The next one missed and lodged in the bottom of a door.
They go in, threaten to cut the kids throat if the mother does not make it quiet. They find and take a pistol, the lady's handbag with her keys, wallet, credit cards, cellphone. Her jewelry and his, which they were wearing at the time. And leave!
He's up, into the bedroom and gets the shotgun out. In case they come back. Together they take the kid next door to the neighbor's place. Then lockup, into the car, and off to the nearest hospital. Bell street private. They can't help. Don't have the facilities for this kind of emergency. Send them off to Krugersdorp Private. (no ambulances as yet. They knew he could bleed to death before one arrives, so the traumatized wife is driving him around). On the way to KPH, she calls my mate, and asks him to come help.
They get there. Go in.
Before they will admit him, treat him, even dispense a fucking disprin, they want ZAR10k on the table, and a bank guaranteed cheque for ZAR50k in their hands!!!
Who the hell has access to that kind of dough, at that time of the night?
Anyway, my mate has, and goes home, gets the cash (R10k) and his cheque book.
Back at the hospital, they call one of these 24 x 7 cheque clearance houses before they will even call the surgeon / doctor ? Out!!!
Anyway, by the time I got there at 9pm, the doctor had just come out. Right lung repaired. Left one badly bruised. No vital organs / arteries affected. He's going to be ok.
Needed 2 units of blood. They wouldn't even order them before my mate signed consent and responsibility for the cost!
Anyway, he was still in theater as another doctor was now going to be repairing his arm / fitting a steel pin.
At 1.22 am this morning my mate called to say that his brother was out of theater, and in the ICU. He had made it through the ops. And the next 24 hours would be crucial. So here's hoping.
Now, 4 guys kicked in his door. All armed. Why did they have to shoot? They weren't going to get any resistance from the family!
Luckily, the bullet which went through his lung must have been a steel jacket, as the damage was minimal considering. A soft nose would have broken up, and torn his heart / lungs to pieces.
The bullet that went into his arm must have been a soft nose. It broke up, shattering the bone, exiting in two place, and leaving a lot of very minute shrapnel in the tissue.
A metal / steel jacket round would probably have ripped his arm off.
The saddest part of all this is that when he comes out of hospital, he will probably sell off everything he has, and leave South Africa. And who will blame him?
I know my mate has been talking this way some time. His family got hit about 6 years ago in their previous home.
And today he drives 400km to Bloemfontein, to bury his father-in-law who passed away last week. I feel for him, his family. You don't need so much crap at one time. And some of it you don't need at all.
I know crime is everywhere. The problem here is the violence which goes with the crime. I can understand why someone would want to break into my home / car, to steal a TV / car radio, to go and pawn and use the money to buy a loaf of bread. But why kill / rape / maim someone in the process?
I'll tell you why. It's cause they have a pent up anger, based on their belief that the world, especially white people owe them. It's because our police force are so understaffed / undertrained / overworked / corrupt, that there is a good chance they wont get caught. It's because they know that the jail term will be short. There is no death penalty. No life sentences.