I’m writing this report with fear and I’m not sure where I’m going to find the humour. I’ve never been fearful about South Africa. Even during the #JulyInsurrection, I felt a sense of pride, especially when South Africans bandied together and said #WeWillNotBePlayed. We worked it out in a couple of days; we all knew we were mere sacrificial pawns in this game of chess between Zuma and Ramaphosa. But yesterday I was scared. Really scared.
First a word on Chriselda Lewis – have you seen this chick, she skriks for niks! I watched her get swallowed up by a vigilante crowd that had surrounded an entrance of the mine. Apparently, deep underground, it’s filled with people baying for blood and armed with #AK47s. This was the #ZamaZamas workplace and no one was welcome. Chriselda dug her way into the top story of the week as she brought her camera crew into what could turn into a bloodbath in seconds. The truth at all costs, that’s Chriselda. That, my friends, is a phenomenal journalist right there. There were no umm’s and ah’s; she kept talking about the history of the #ZamaZamas and how this group of illegal miners came to be. How they are armed and the turf wars underground. People are shooting each other for nuggets; crawling around in a dark hole of mania. That’s #ZamaZamaWorld, #ZamaZamaTerritory call it what you like. Pure dystopian mania.
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How did we get here? Here in the middle of #KagisoShutdown, where people turned vigilante in front of the police giving a peace conference, and the so called “leaders” pretended the emperor has clothes on. If you listened to that media (allegedly town) briefing, the insult to our intelligence was shameless. One journalist told the squad that within yards there was a crime scene, could they not see it? Their answer, “it is unfortunate that we cannot cover all ground.” What are you talking about, can you not see that this is out of control? That you are outnumbered and unphased like #Stage4Eskom. Open your eyes, the emperor has no clothes on!
The area literally imploded underground and exploded above ground as the entire town turned vigilante on #zamazamas, foreigners and anyone that stood in their way. Apparently, it started with a gang rape.
Eight women went to #ZamaZama territory, in the middle of the night, with expensive camera equipment to film a “music video”. These women were gang raped by the illegal miners and that resulted in the #KagisoShutdown. Before I start and you tell me that I’m outrageous. I have so many questions about this story. Simple questions that it seems we are not asking. Who are these women? Why on earth would a group of eight women (EIGHT) go to a mine dump? Were they not aware of illegal miners? When I say illegal miners, I mean hardcore gangsters armed with AK47’s. A music video? Really? Was this their first video or do we know the band? Don’t hate me because I’m a critical thinker, don’t hate me because I want facts. A whole eight women without any escort or security went to a warzone filled with rampant, raging gangsters. There is not a single mention on Twitter of who these women are, and that bothers me. On Twitter that’s not possible. Just hear me out. IF this story was orchestrated, if the rapes were “ordered”, then my friends we may have to give up now, because we are dealing with psychopaths. IF the rapes were really just some women singing on a mine dump at night, then I cry for my gender. We know better; women are not stupid; women are not careless; we are nurturers; we are cautious; we are super- smart. Sure, we should be allowed onto a mine dump to film a video at night (with a permit). We should be allowed to, but this is not Lalaland, this South Africa, #KagisoShutdown is a town with curfews, where people need escorts to buy bread. After six pm, there is not a solitary person on the street because this is a dangerous place. Yet here we are about to sing on the dunes. If you speak to the residents of #Kagiso, they will tell you that they barricade themselves in at night because they fear their surroundings, and the frequent sins of armed men. Don’t shoot the messenger, just think! Because the very next day every single political party was at #Krugersdorp police station and so was #OperationDudula. All dressed in their ‘emperor’s clothes’. The political party regalia donned with pre-printed placards. Even, get this, the ANC was there! When a journalist asked one of the women from the ANC what on earth she was doing there, she said, “We must show that we have had enough of this.” I’m sorry…what? This is your administration, or did Zuma pay you to dress up and come march? Sick thought though isn’t it? The emperor in sheep’s clothing.
You know I’m controversial, but I hope I make you think. And let me tell you, if this story was orchestrated to remove #BhekiCele, it is all that is needed. Every person in SA is furious at the relentless and devouring crime we live through every day. Bheki “leave your hat on” Cele has been under fire for weeks. In an interview concerning the #KagisoRapes he said that one woman was only raped once, that she was lucky. How on earth does that thought even cross your mind let alone gallop off your tongue Bheki? You are lucky if you’ve been raped once? He actually said that. The emperor has to remove that hat! I once wrote how much I like Cele, but in the past weeks, I’ve had to vomit up those words, put them in a bowl and force feed them to myself in some disgusting humble pie. #CeleMustGo? Agreed, but something is off. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Cele arrested almost eighty people on the day of the story, all #zamazamas, all illegal immigrants, apparently. Then Cele left … . Next thing, #KagisoShutdown. Residents took to the streets with knopkirries and other weapons to tear down the shacks of known #ZamaZamas. The press followed every move as people went shack to shack and destroyed and then torched the place. My first thought was where is the army? Not where are the police, why? Because they were there. Holding a press conference. They told us that everything was under control and that the bustling hive of wasp vigilantes should go back inside and let the police take care of it. One journalist said the obvious: “Um, the crime is taking place about 50 yards from you.” Yet, here they were, sitting on top of a police van with a loud speaker talking to the crowd. TALKING! Oh, come on, can you actually get off your behind and put yourself forward. There was a call for Cele, but he was busy receiving a memorandum of complaint from #COSATU about crime and living conditions, so instead we had some deputies, who had obviously no intention, whatsoever, of resolving this issue. The news cameras panned over the empty mine dump. Not a soul in sight except the cops. At least 15 of them, emptying bags of what the Zamas had pulled out of the ground. Is that evidence? Bags of mine dust? Dust to dust… Just like you’re doing to our country. They didn’t help a single person, they didn’t bring a water cannon, they didn’t leave their cheap seats except to places that were safe and free from chaos. The gall of it. You useless, pay-rolled stooges. Leave us alone, send in the army.
In a place like #Kagiso where the police are on the payroll, I watched one strong woman giving Cele a good talking too. She was coherent; she did not rant and she told him straight up that four- year- olds can tell the stories of rapes that happen every day, that kids are not scared of guns because they are the norm. That more women had been raped than those that hadn’t. There is no end to Zama Zama’s tirade because if they are arrested they will be replaced. She’s right, someone put her in charge! Please! She’s so right, I mean you don’t think they’re taking that gold to Cash Converters do you? No ways man, they are actually smelting gold into bars and shipping them out of the country. This is a syndicate, and the miners are just the starting point.
Stop the illegal mining and you’ll stop some of the crime, not all, but some. This illegal mining story is an old story. Why today? Why the play on xenophobia over gang rape? Surely it doesn’t matter where you originated from for us to hate on you for raping women? Why were #OperationDudula there at the #Krugersdorp office? What is really going on? Why are there women with babies on their backs and small children tearing down shacks? I don’t make this stuff up. One oke was high or drunk and he told the journalist straight up that the police were here for a media event, a publicity stunt, he said they had asked him to be one of the five people “elected” to run this madness. My God, he may have been intoxicated but he spoke the truth. The police had no intention of doing a single thing. All they did was dump more rubbish on our country. More dust in our eyes.
The latest statistics we have is that in an average year, forty-two thousand women report being raped. That’s a 116 women a day. And nothing! For the first time South Africans rose to become a kangaroo court dealing with rape. Took you long enough South Africa! This gang rape set South Africa on fire, literally, and who can blame us? If one of those women were my friend, sister or daughter, I’d tear down every shack in my midst just to get hold of the rotten perpetrator, and if the police “watch me do it”, then I believe I have permission. So I get it.
This was so hectic; the burning shacks and a sky of ash. But where’s Cyril? Where’s the invisible man? Well, he is trending today under #CyrilMustResign. Earlier in the week, Cyril told us about a mysterious third force. Mysterious? Are you kidding? Stop and ask for directions to Nkandla. We all know who this “third force” is, we don’t need a map. This is the ANC’s internal mess turning into the nastiest thing we’ve seen since the insurrection. Lucky to be raped only once. It’s cold in Sodwana and I’ve just taken my hoody off and turned on the fan because I’m so heated up from rage. What a story. I don’t know if I can write about anything else because quite honestly I couldn’t sleep last night because of the images I saw on TV. Images of a country being reduced to ash.
Now I am running out of steam and we have only dealt with one story. Let’s snap back to other news.
#Gana called it quits at the DA after twenty years of service. Mmusi #Maimane was involved in an armed robbery. Bain, the company exposed by Athol Williams for helping Zuma and his ‘chommies’ capture the state, was banned in the UK. Yes, you read right, not in SA. A British MP said, “We don’t allow money laundering like we saw in the State Capture Inquiry.” That’s nice, wonder how that feels?
How on earth do I cheer you up? There’s the #Commonwealth games and we’re doing well-ish, (I think). I’m barely a football fan so don’t ask me. Advocate #Teffo put himself back on the #SenzoMeyiwe case and then was told that he’s delusional and to please exit stage left. He muttered some incoherent rubbish about witchcraft and then his application failed to stop his disbarment from the legal profession. Seriously though, what’s up with that story? This week I saw kids, school children, in a classroom doing a war cry about #KellyKhulamo and how much they hate her. The kids couldn’t have been older than seven. What on earth are we doing here folks?
#Tembisa riots left such a trail of devastation that the police are too scared to go there too. Are you noticing a trend? When will we call in the army, when will we rise up against this “third force”. Third force HA! I mean seriously, #thirdforce was a term used in apartheid, update your narrative Mr President, this isn’t Star Wars china.
Then there’s that #Mkhwebhane story still hanging in the air like a bad smell of Sulphur. Dali is trying, very, trying, but he is failing. I wonder who irks me more, Dali or Teffo? Teffo is quite funny I will admit. I just wish he’d stop banging on about his matric, he’s like a robot on repeat.
I’m not going to further depress you with stories about a 64- year- old man who stabbed his girlfriend’s lover with sheep shears. I’m not going to tell you anymore bad stuff about our country because you need a break.
So instead let’s focus on the rest of the world for a minute. I saw #WW3 trending; my first thought was that Putin had pushed a button, but no, this time an 82 -year- old woman, Nancy Pelosi, landed in Taiwan to “defend their democracy” from China. I was glued, just watching her walk off the plane steps was a marvel. They put a sash around her in a welcoming ceremony and the geriatric could barely bend forward without toppling over. She’s 82! What is she doing poking her shriveled finger at China, just like the US did with NATO against Russia. That was hectic enough and now you go and poke the Chinese dragon. Who puts these people in charge? Oh yes, we do.
I have great personal news: my right hand is fully functional again and ready to be taken below surface, no, not into a mine, but rather under the waves where it is beautiful, peaceful and quiet. Where the potato bass is waiting for me to play with some bubbles. It’s been a long journey but is nothing compared to what our country’s dusty roads look like. Keep standing South Africa, don’t be played.
My name is Tonya Khoury and you’ve just scratched the surface with Acumen Media.