Editor's note: Ria Stark, and her family were left traumatised this week after a cowardly attack on her grandfather and his wife. A journalist for the past 11 years, she felt compelled to ask government: When will SA say enough is enough?
"God left Africa a long time ago." - Blood Diamond
These were the words my husband uttered on our way back home from the hospital. Both tired, angry, saddened, dismayed and traumatised.
It's been three days since the brutal attack, but I can still smell my grandfathter's blood. I doubt it will ever go away. The bitterness and anger has subsided, but the effects of what happened to my family on Wednesday, 15 August will last a lifetime.
Bleed my beloved country, but I will never bleed for you again
When will SA say ENOUGH is ENOUGH???
During 'women's month', as well as 4 days after my grandfather's 76th birthday, he and his wife were subjected to a brutal and unwarranted attack by two cowardly thugs in Port Edward.
At 3.30am, these two cowards entered a fully-fenced complex, targeted my granddad and tannie Ann (70) and thought it wise to brutally assault two defenseless, elderly people. My grandfather, who cooperated every step of the way, was stabbed twice, his jaw broken and skull fractured.
He is too old to fight back...these cowards only wanted to take his pride from him, nothing else.
Tannie Ann, who has dedicated her life to teaching children, mainly in rural or poor schools, who will give you the last shirt off her back, also fell victim to these menaces, despite doing exactly as she was told.
When I arrived at the Port Shepstone state hospital, where my granddad was laying in a bed drenched in blood, my heart sank.
We arrived in time for morning prayer. A short, black woman walks over to my husband and I:
'Don't cry dears, he's in good hands.'
I wish I got her name, I want to thank her personally. Her words comforted me.
Moments later, a nurse puts an open needle on the dirty table. Oupa asks me to lift the backrest of the bed, but I can't, it's broken. I then ask for a pillow...
'We don't have pillows here.'
A male nurse walks over...he first sticks a syringe with a clean needle in oupa, then, I hear my mother's voice in my head:
'Don't you dare put that dirty needle in him,' I find myself saying.
Poor oupa was soaked in blood. So I asked for a wet cloth to clean him a little.
As I wiped the blood from his hands, I already said to myself:
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! BLEED MY BELOVED COUNTRY, but I will never bleed for you again.
Hours later, we're told oupa has to go for facial reconstructive surgery in Durban the next Monday.
Two frail, old people's lives have been turned upside down, because two good-for-nothing cowards wanted a little power trip.
This is the norm, not the exception
We hear these stories every day. Farmers attacked, elderly people assaulted or murdered, children and women abused, molested and raped.
But it never really hits home....UNTIL IT HITS HOME.
Our government is failing us...not white, black, coloured or Indian, IT IS FAILING ALL OFF US!
It protects the rich, the corrupt, the murderers, the thieves, the kidnappers and rapists. But it fails its vulnerable; women, children, the elderly and frail.
My question now is: When will we ALL come together and say: 'Enough is enough?'
How many more women, children, elderly and vulnerable have to be killed, assaulted, robbed, raped, abused and kidnapped before we, as a nation, put our differences aside and decide to take a stand?
How much longer will we allow the criminals in this country to rule our lives?
We don't live anymore....We're only surviving.
We live in fear, like caged animals, while our daughters are being raped by their fathers/uncles/friends or strangers, while grandparents and parents are being robbed, beaten or murdered for drug money, while the corrupt keep filling their pockets.
All the while, our political parties are fighting among each other, each trying to out wit, out play and out last the other's election campaign.
Our children are starving...Our children are forced to raise their siblings...Our children aren't going to school, or are going to horrible schools...Our children are being violated, killed and kidnapped...And eventually, our children have no other option than to join a criminal career as well.
Our mothers and fathers are being beaten and robbed blind, they're being raped and murdered. They too are going hungry, they're cold, they're frail, they're sick and they're raising their grandchildren.
As a nation, we owe our children and parents more....We need to do better. We have to stop this mindset that it only happens to some...My dear, it will eventually happen to you, or someone you know, too.
So dear SA, my beloved, beautiful country, when the rubbish of this country is done taking, and when there is nothing or no-one left to take from, remember the day I wrote this...asking you: WHEN WILL ENOUGH BE ENOUGH?!
Now, IS THERE ANY COUNTRY OUT THERE THAT HAS SPACE FOR two hardworking individuals who would love to give their daughter a fighting chance at a better future?
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH...
I can still smell his blood, even after washing my hands and having a shower. I hope I smell it until I leave, so it serves as a constant reminder of why I left SA...Bleed my beloved country.
Diclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the editorial policy of Briefly.co.za.
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