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Thread: The Swartruggens shooting

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    The Swartruggens shooting

    Ever since I first heard about the Swartruggens shooting this morning, I've been keeping a careful eye on developing events.

    This morning's news came on with headlines of a number of people being shot at an informal settlement. Shocking enough on its own, even if the media seems mostly numb to the sheer volume of murders that happen in South Africa every day.

    But then it became clear why this was big news. Someone saying it was a racially motivated shooting. I was somewhat amazed at the certainty with which this person knew the motive of these as yet unknown assailants. Possibly clairvoyant or somewhat prejudiced herself at a guess. Anyway - with such raw racism on show, things were bound to happen.

    This little sequence of extracts follows news as released on IOL:

    9:13am
    In what the community is calling a racially motivated attack, three people were killed and seven others injured when a young white male opened fire in Skielik, an informal settlement near Swartruggens in North West.

    Members of the community claimed the men were trying to cut railway tracks close to the settlement in an attempt to derail a train so that it would destroy shacks. The men opened fire when they were discovered, they said.
    from IOL here
    11.15am
    Hundreds of protesters blockaded the main road leading into Swartruggens on Tuesday after three people were murdered in an apparent racist attack in the Skielik informal settlement, North West police said.

    "Between 600 and 700 people have blocked the road. We have had no incidents of violence yet... they are protesting their dissatisfaction," said Superintendent Louis Jacobs.

    Two young white men entered the settlement between 3pm and 4pm, police said on Monday.

    The SABC reported on Monday that it was "an apparent race-related attack".

    Jacobs said on Tuesday: "We can't make speculations as to the motive. No arrests have been made. We are in the process of obtaining statements from everybody."
    from IOL here
    2.52pm
    The father of the man who allegedly shot and killed four people at the Skielik informal settlement on Tuesday has been arrested, North West police said on Tuesday.

    A helicopter manhunt has been launched for his son.

    "The boy, between 18 and 20 years old, allegedly used the father's gun in the shooting" said Superintendent Louis Jacobs.
    from IOL here
    5.10pm
    A seventeen-year-old has been arrested for the death of four people in the Skielik informal settlement near Swartruggens, North West police said on Tuesday.

    "He was arrested just before 4pm and the firearm has been confiscated. He has not turned 18 yet, he turns 18 in August. He will probably be in court tomorrow or the day after tomorrow," said police spokesman Superintendent Louis Jacobs.
    from IOL here
    Two of the responses so far:

    The Congress of SA Trade Unions has condemned the killings as "racist murders".

    "Cosatu fully supports the demonstration of protest by the local community and shares their anger. Justice must be done" said Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven on Tuesday.

    Craven said the suspect was believed to be the son of a local farmer who had been involved in racist attacks before.

    Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance in the North West has condemned Kgetleng River mayor, Willemiena Moleko, saying she was inciting racism and mass hysteria.

    "After the shooting incident, she went there and made a racist speech, taking pictures of the bodies with her cellphone. The people have been incited by politicians led by the mayor. The farmers there are feeling really threatened by the whole situation which is being polarised" said DA councillor Ben Marais.

    "The mayor is for everybody, not for one race, and should put a lid on these things. At the moment she is helping it escalate" said Marais.
    from IOL here
    So I take it Mayor Willemiena Moleko was the clairvoyant I saw on TV this morning.

    It's just horrid what you have to do nowadays to make front page news
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Platinum Member Chatmaster's Avatar
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    This is a very serious issue. I heard on radio yesterday that when they asked him why he shot them he said he shot at monkeys or was it baboons... This boy clearly has a lack of education as he cannot distinguish between a monkey and a human being!

    I am shocked at 2 things here. He is 17 years old which means he was born 3 years before democracy. In other words he was supposed to have gotten his brains in a democratic and free SA, where race is meaningless. Where did he get his racial hatred from being born in a time of racial freedom? Was it his parents? School? Friends? Where on earth was a hatred grown to make him act in such a crazy manner?

    I have a feeling allot will be said in the days to come and I definitely expect the press to investigate the life of this boy's father. He needs to go to jail for life and if his father is responsible, he should join his son in prison. I can't help it, these pointless murders angers me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chatmaster View Post
    I am shocked at 2 things here. He is 17 years old which means he was born 3 years before democracy. In other words he was supposed to have gotten his brains in a democratic and free SA, where race is meaningless. Where did he get his racial hatred from being born in a time of racial freedom? Was it his parents? School? Friends? Where on earth was a hatred grown to make him act in such a crazy manner?
    Brings me back to the responsibility mentioned in another thread. This youngster has acted with much disrespect (dislike/hatred) - as do ALL other criminals to some extent or another. Add TV, movies computer games and others to your list of possible influences.

    The thing is we live in a society where an explicit love scene is rated age 16 but gratuitous violence 13!
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    the scary thing is the youngster is gona suffer hardships beyond your wildest dreams because unfortunatly the justice system in this country will not be able to keep the savages away from him...so i am just going to stop right there.

    look at the other side of this...look how the savages completely destoyed the bakkie he was driving and then stood on it like a trophy...image if everyone in this country had to act like that...lots of us would be driving around destroying properties to show our anger for all the murders and rapes going untold every single day in this country...now suddenly a white youngers does this and its headlines in the newspaper politicians are speaking out...and its racial murders...black people murdering white people every day in south africa what is this called revenge because of the wrongs of our previous goverment

    what about the white women being gang raped at gun point with their children and husbands are forced to watch isnt that inhumane...they dont get headlines...the other day i heard a story about the church ministers wife being brutually raped by a couple savages at her home it didnt even make the newspaper.

    the same thing with police murders suddenly the full force of the law will be implemented...what about us shouldnt we get the full force of the law behind our case?????

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    ...and my greatest fear in all this is there aren't enough level heads around yet to prevent escalation.

    We've still got a long way to go.

    This is a national tragedy. When will our society heal?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    I have an opinion about this and would like to be very open in this thread about the racial issues in SA. This is meant to say what we have to hear, NOT what you want to hear, so if you are not ready for the truth through my eyes, stop reading now!

    I seriously think that racism is far from dead and it is being completely ignored and denied by allot of people regardless of race. We are in denial if we think otherwise.

    Most people over age 30 regardless of your race, has grown up with some kind of racial prejudice or even hatred. But many of us have grown to understand that the racial believes of the past was wrong and completely stupid. However, those that are still living in the past is growing a future generation that will be much more radical in their beliefs. I say this based on the fact that there is much more racial interaction than in the past.

    If a kid is in a school where he is exposed to other races and at home being programmed to hate them, he will have to act to establish his beliefs and to proof to his parents that this is the case. That is the laws of being a teenager. The responsibility our generation has to guide our kids is huge but we are feeling mixed about it and there are allot of contributing factors. Once again I want to state that this is the case of all the different races. Black, Indian, coloured and white, we all face the same issue and challenge.

    The current legislation is also not helping the situation. If you are white, you are being told you are not black enough to have the job. If you are coloured or indian you face the same judgement. BEE, Employment Equity, "Regstellende aksie" these are some of the "non-solutions" government came up with. The irony is that the NP started it back in '91, not the ANC. The ANC just build on the idea.

    Now we are in a crossover generation, white people are facing all the legislation that tells them they are scum. On the other side of the racial spectrum, transformation is not happening fast enough. Look at how many white people drive BMW's and stay in beautiful houses. White people are saying the same about black people. There is a cross over taking place and our children is getting more and more confused by the day. Their parents feel that there is still racism (again this is not exclusive to one race) and then again they must not act upon their own experience and what they can clearly see is happening in the country.

    The ANC elects Zuma, who is still singing his struggle song at every meeting as their president and what message does that send to the people of this country? No matter what the Zuma and his supporters say, if you are a leader in a country that is healing, YOU CANNOT BEHAVE LIKE THAT! It confuses your followers and your opposition.

    Now lets get back to the Swartruggens murders. If a black kid came into my suburb and killed white people I would have gone "bossies" No one would stop me acting crazy. Why is that? Because I am angry that in a country like South Africa, where we are supposed to be healing from the past, some black idiot still think whites are scum. I do not excuse the behaviour of these people nor do I condone it, but I will tell you that I would have acted in the exact same manner as they did, were the roles reversed.

    Further more I constantly read and hear people say, look at how many black people kill white people and nothing is being said or done about that. Why should there be something said on that based on race? It is happening to everyone because it is crime! Although some of these crimes clearly include race motivated actions and killings, the crime itself doesn't distinguish between race. Crime is happening to all of us, despite our race and skin colour. Shake that racial finger pointing for the sake of sanity!

    This country is facing huge challenges and the biggest one of all is correcting the past. Next time you see something like this happen, ask yourself this question. How am I contributing to heal South Africa? Do I just sit, point fingers and build up stress about all this or am I actually playing a role in helping to unite this wonderful country?

    Everyone always point fingers to the apparent causes of crime as, unemployment and poverty. I say no the real cause is the cross-over in SA that is happening atm. The cross over has to do with denial of responsibility and the natural human element that goes hand in hand with that, the need to blame someone or something! This crazy boy is a reflection of what is going to happen in this country if we all continue on the road of denial and blame.

    I say, South Africans should unite and heal this country. I say South Africans should see this incident as a lesson of who we are atm. I also say to the so called leaders in South Africa, you need to smell the coffee! If you do not start acting like leaders and lead the country into healing, you are likely to become the virus causing this country to stay polarised. Once again, if you thought I was pointing a finger to Zuma, you were kindly mistaken. Ask yourself, is he the only leader in South Africa? Answer? No he is not!

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    Hey Chatmaster KUDOS to you! This HAS to stop being about race at all levels.

    As individuals we MUST start realising that we have our own prejudices! To this day I still do not entirely trust a man that wears white shoes. Why? Simply because my mother warned me, in her wisdom, that they are without fail................. smooth talkers!

    As parents we must listen to our children. We must realise that by imposing our experiences and our perceptions on them, we are hurting those we love the most. If we encourage our children to grow up with an entirely closed mind set in this era when the world(web) is at our fingertips we are limiting them. Why would any loving parent do this? Ignorance maybe? Fear definitely.

    Substitute the word parents for individuals and the word children for others - we all have a responsibility - it's not going to happen magically we are fighting forces such as media, natural teenage rebellion and ingrained cultural beliefs. So let it start with each of us and those we come into contact with - roll on a more tolerant and settled and peaceful South Africa ...with leaders who are spiritually wise.
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    i spent almost 2 years of my youth...being brain washed into thinking that the time i spent in angola would pay off in the long run...well it didnt... but that wasnt what gets me upset.

    coming home after spending 20 months of digging a hole in the ground to sleep at night...travelling for days that i would literally fall asleep on my feet...not coming home for more than a year without leave...cleaning out bodies which had been left for days to rot...etc...etc..all these issues i can still live with...being blown up at magoos bar when i got home...then the mcbride becomes the chief of police with his backround of alleged criminal behavour still to this day is what burns my f****n a**. i watched as the 2 women who were leaving...pieces of their bodies came flying past me...i was fighting to get into the side were they played music to get to angela stent and rachael who had been ripped by the glass because of the panic from everyone trying to flee..i managed to get both of them to the ambulance but rachael was so badly cut up that she had to be taken to addingtion...it doesnt suprise me that i am the only one still living in this country out of the group of us who were there that night...i still to this day many years later am trying to understand what they did to deserve that...we lost people on the border but that was expected we were in a bush war...it is the same as the police i dont understand why they get special preference when they are killed they are doing their job.

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    Platinum Member Chatmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by murdock View Post
    i spent almost 2 years of my youth...being brain washed into thinking that the time i spent in angola would pay off in the long run...well it didnt... but that wasnt what gets me upset.
    Were you part of , Koevoet, 32, Reccie or something else?

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    Imagine for a moment a land where issues of race was something totally alien. Folks wandered around their daily business totally oblivious to the fact that some were black, some were white, and some were some shade in between.

    And then one day some 17 year old kid went out and shot a whole lot of people because they were a different colour to him.

    What would that society think?

    Maybe:
    The kid is mentally ill. He's deranged. How could he even let something like that bother him? Let alone go around shooting people over it.

    It would be totally senseless! We would struggle to comprehend the motivation.

    Roll over now to South Africa.

    What are we thinking?
    How "coloured" is our thinking?
    Can we look at this through the same eyes as that society I've just spoken of?

    This incident has ripped open the facade and revealed the dark under-belly of where we are as a nation in terms of losing our racially aligned prejudices and paradigms. It is both an eye-opener and a test for where we are as a nation.

    I have said before that we will only really know we have a true democracy when a party other than the ANC is elected and peacefully installed to government.

    Now consider for a moment - the electricity shortage issue alone would have seen a new party installed to government at the next election in many countries. What are the chances of it happening here right now?

    Not much I think.

    Why? There is no doubt that the ANC has had some monumental failings that they really should be held responsible for by the electorate. But these failings are dwarfed by the issue of racial identity.

    Race is still such a dominant priority in the minds of far too many. Consciously or subconsciously it's still there. And every time we frame an issue around race, no matter how "justifiable" the reason, we are reinforcing a subconscious paradigm that there is a difference between the races.

    When I was a youngster of 13, Alan Paton spoke at our school's speech day. It was a speech that was immortalised by Jock Leyden and published in the paper the following day. It certainly made an impression on me. I did a search on the internet in case that cartoon had ever made it on the net since, but unfortunately this was well before the digital age. No such luck.

    Jock's cartoon was of Alan Paton standing on South Africa with a broom in his hands, sweeping words like "kaffir, rooineck, boer, koelie, soutie" off the land and into the sea.

    The message of that cartoon is so clear. But Alan Paton's message that day was not that we needed to get these words out of our country, we needed to sweep those words out of our minds!

    We need to remove the words "black", "white", and every variant in between from our vocabulary, from our legislation and from our minds. Completely, totally and utterly obliterated from our society. The "historical challenges" we face need to be framed in economic terms. As soon as possible.

    This kid is mentally malnourished. He has been fed a diet of mental poison. I think, for many, this is obvious.
    But what about the rest of us? Is our diet much better?

    The kid is branded as a racist. Yes, it seems he is. But every time you differentiate by race, every time you justify by race, every time you frame an issue in a racial context, you are a racist too.

    Maybe you won't go out and shoot someone over it tomorrow, but you are keeping the racist paradigm alive both in yourself and everyone around you. And the poison will build up in the system. And the malnourished results will live on.

    We need to move to a society where we are more comfortable when a person says "F*ck!" when they are upset than when they say "black" or "white" as a reason. For anything!

    My sincere sympathy goes out to the Skieliek community.
    I hope wisdom will prevail among the people who are now responsible for this youngster's future.
    I pray that every person who is keeping the racial paradigm alive - in our legislation, in our words, in our hearts and in our minds - can see the error of their ways one day soon.
    Last edited by Dave A; 18-Jan-08 at 05:46 AM. Reason: Completed post
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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