Culture of violence has to be replaced with respect for the law

A policeman watches as a vehicle burns during the protest against the murder of farm manager Brendin Horner on October 06, 2020 in Senekal, South Africa. It is reported that Horner was found dead by the police. The young farmer was tied with a rope to a pole at an open space situated at De Rots.

A culture of violence is on the increase in SA and there seems to be no letting up.

It seems there is a tendency that if we are angry over anything, or we do not agree on any subject, our default is violence.

On Thursday this paper reported on a bullet-ridden car chase down Oxford Street, an attempt on the life of a health official known to his friends as “Mr Fixit”.  He believes the incident is related to disciplinary processes he has instituted against subordinates in a provincial hospital.

Now the medical official, someone who has essential skills, has been forced into hiding, impacting on operations at the hospital.

A similar incident of violent and uncalled-for behaviour was in the national news this week.

In Senekal  in the Free State, an angry group of farmers allegedly tried to storm the court cells where two suspected killers of a farm manager were being held.

Video clips that went viral on Tuesday were disturbing, showing protesters turning their anger towards police.

They were demanding that the two suspects be released to them so they could “deal” with them in their own way.

While videos of the protesters in rampage mode were splashed for all to see, police visibility and action on the day was lacking.

Police have said they could not resort to heavy-handed response measures as some of the protesters were armed.

While the police’s calculated stance at the time may have some merits, it is sad that by Thursday only one suspect had been arrested.

Law enforcement agents should never give the impression that crime can go unpunished.

The country has witnessed too many incidents where people protesting for service delivery run riot and end up torching schools, clinics, libraries and vehicles.

This mentality needs to change. We need citizens who show respect for the country’s laws. We need a justice system that functions, deterring even those who want to take the law into their own hands.

We condemn violent behaviour. It must stop.

Here it is, robbing us of much-needed skills in a major hospital during a pandemic, because someone is forced into hiding to protect his life.


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