By Monica Brown

Good afternoon my people

Today I am skipping the language introduction and getting straight to the point.Yes, today we are starting a four part serious looking at South African communities that are imprisoned by the crime that is just taking over our lives.

South African prisons are places of extreme violence resulting in assaults on prisoners by correctional guards and other inmates are common and often fatal.

Today i woke up to very disturbing news about a friend of mine. He really wanted to just do one good deed before starting a nw job in a new house in a new province.He gathered all the things that they did not need anymore and delivered it to his domestic worker in one of our townships.

Everything went well till car hijackers decided that they wanted their car and on top of it decided to kill him in front of his wife. They could not start the car and left them for death without taking anything valuable.

Crime had been part of my life since birth.My late father was a police officer and I was always captivated by the stories he told us around the campfire.

Little did I know that just a few years down the line i would face it myself.

Yes, we do not want to admit it but everywhere we go, we do not feel free.I speak for myself.i prefer buying online and prefer not eating out anymore. I rather use Uber and Bolt to get around as driving your own car is a danger now.

We are putting up high walls and electric fences and we have alarm systems and tracking devices for our families. We speak in low voices and do not want others to know what we achieve as we scared that we will become a target.

High levels of inequality, poverty, unemployment, social exclusion and marginalisation. The consumption and abuse of alcohol is a demonstrable cause or contributing factor in many violent crimes including murder, attempted murder, assault, gender-based assault and rape cases.

We literally not sure if we will see each other again after greeting each other in the morning to go our seperate ways.Our children are victimised, trafficked, killed and some just taken without warning.

What are we doing wrong as a society? What are we missing to bring an end or rather a slow down of what is consuming us at the moment.

I love my home but it became a prison cell for me. I always check the doors, i check what i take with me when i leave home so that i am sure that in case of getting robbed or hijacked, important documents and valuables will still be there.

We use to go fishing, hiking, walking in the park and also loved bird watching.I have not done anything like that for a while.

We use to go to certain spots to feed the needy and the homeless.Now we just go to shelters and donate the food and other things like blankets and clothes because we got warned by SAPS that criminals also pose as homeless and then we might get killed or robbed.

A total of 151 755 prisoners incarcerated in 235 establishments in South Africa according to Prisonstudies.org at October 2022.At the rate that police been busy since last year, that definitely increased.

What rights do prisoners have in South Africa?

Everyone has the right to freedom and security of the person, which includes the right

a. not to be deprived of freedom arbitrarily or without just cause

b. not to be detained without trial

c. to be free from all forms of violence from either public or private sources

d. not to be tortured in any way

Do we that are outside of prison even so heavily guarded as the ones behind bars?We get violated, killed, tortured in public, in our homes and we literally cannot say that we free.Funny enough our tax monies are paying for the prisoners and criminals to be fed, clothed and protected.

Today I am just venting because i am saddened and broken about what our beloved country became.

I love nature but cannot go out and enjoy it. I love good food and long walks along the beach but cannot do that anymore. I love visiting new places and exploring new things but cannot do that anymore as it is a risk.

I love my communities and I love working with people.I listen at lenght to their untold stories and I know that we deserve better.

We deserve better for sure.

In the next part we will look at crime stats and also what support structures are in place for victims of crime and just will look at what our government is doing about this problem we facing.

Monica Brown, Changemaker, Activist And Social Entrepreneur, CRW NEWS Freelance Columnist

Article Reproduced with Permission from Monica Brown

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