Yesterday I found a few cute pictures and somehow put together a bland post, forcing myself not to dwell on thoughts that were trying to occupy my mind.
Those thoughts are not likely to go away any time soon.
In no way am I remotely qualified to comment on the situation, so I am only able to write about what I have observed.
The human condition reduced to its basest level, total, mindless depravity.
Just today, some 3 days after it all began, the Western news media has found it impossible to continue to ignore what has been occurring in South Africa. I can’t even hazard a guess why they held back the story for so long. It is, after all, a major human tragedy unfolding.
Riots are nothing new, but the scale of what is happening in South Africa is unprecedented. The excuse being offered is the jailing of ex-president Jacob Zuma who, by all accounts enriched himself at the expense of his people. It would appear, he’s where he deserves to be. His daughter has been very busy on Twitter and it seems she is largely accountable for what has resulted.
But it defies comprehension. How can people be launched into such a mindless frenzy of looting and stealing and setting fire to businesses and factories, to the very infrastructure they all depend on to survive? Politicians tried to blame the poor, but people who are poor and hungry do not steal washing machines and TV’s and fancy clothes. They do not burn down stores that offered employment.
These are opportunists and thugs, though the faces I have seen were quite ordinary. They look like people who are following an impetus, unable to help themselves. I find this deeply disturbing.
Hunger is about to become a very real issue. It is not just the innocent people in their homes who will starve. In very short order the looters and criminals themselves will be out of food, perhaps even out of water. What then? Will they begin attacking homes?
If I did not live with a South African, quite likely I would not myself have been aware of the situation developing in that country. But for the past few days Grant has been in constant communication with his mother who is right there, in the midst of it.
At first, she was terrified, understandably. Then the mob aimed itself at malls and factories, stealing and destroying everything, in plain sight of police who were out numbered and in some cases, joining in.
The devastation, the debris everywhere is appalling.
The communities realized they must band together to defend themselves, if necessary, but they have little in the way of weapons. In one photograph, I saw a young guy holding a golf club, while another clutched a baseball bat.
The South African President made an appeal for calm and agreed to deploy some of the army.
Today, from what I could gather on Youtube, things have calmed down slightly. But there remains the problem of finding food. All the local stores are closed and their shelves are empty. Supply trucks have been burned.
There needs to be a relief effort, but what and by who? And how?
Before all this started efforts to vaccinate against Covid were moving slowly. Now a number of the clinics have been destroyed.
What else can I say? My thoughts are with Grant’s mother and friends and all the other innocent people in South Africa. I care deeply, but I can do nothing but watch and hope.