Robbed at gunpoint

“They had a gun and they were going to use it”

On her way to Winter school, my sister - a very meek 17-year old, was approached by two assailants and robbed of her possessions.

A gold chain and two rings were a small price to pay for her life because, you see: “They they had a gun and they were going to use it.”

Being alone in the early morning dark, unprotected and vulnerable is scary and intimidating enough for a young girl, which made what they did not only wrong, but cowardly to boot.

In retrospect, she made the wise decision to just give them what they wanted instead of making a stand by refusing to hand over Jewellery pieces - which although not worth much - certainly had sentimental value.

If you think about it, a place like Hanover Park is no haven - especially when police intervention is practically non-existent. Then again, crime is on the rise everywhere, and each robbery, murder and rape just seems to become more savage and brutal than the last.

I don’t have to imagine how scary it is being faced with men so willing to take away your life for material things. I know the fear; I felt the perspiration and heart-stopping tension that freezes time as you make the choice to restrain your courage and surrender to the masked villain.

And, I am sure, many South Africans have felt exactly the same.

But what really makes me angry is when people use poverty as an excuse to commit a crime.

We all have a choice - like the one my sister made when she chose her safety in allowing them to rob her.

Yes, I understand each case is unique, each person’s situation is different, and maybe the criminal does what he did because he knows nothing else.

But I still call bullshit.

There are so many children who had it really tough yet made something of themselves, taking the higher road come hell or high water. And they are successes by overcoming what happened to them in their past alone.

What gave these two men the right and audacity to want to threaten someone else’s future with a weapon?

I mean, what kind of heart do you need to have to be able commit a crime so callously? Don’t these thugs have a conscience? My sister is just a baby. At least, to me she is.

Being in school with the pressures of performing with limited resources is stressful enough for a disadvantaged child wanting to make a difference through education.  And now this.

I know you might say that my frustrations are justified, but I’m glad  that at the end of the day, she is safe at least.

Still, I am angry and frustrated. Not only was my sister in danger, each student making their way past gang war-zones are in danger. And some don’t even have a choice regarding their means of transport. Each child, dodging drug addicts, murderers and paedophiles is so very vulnerable to this.

I fear for their lives, for their safety.

And there is nothing I can do to protect them.

I am angry because I feel helpless.

Follow Women24 and @Gadeeja_Abbas on Twitter.


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