A few days after the kidnap and subsequent rape of a woman in Knysna Heights, a couple walking for exercise in Ridge Road, in the next door neighbourhood of Paradise, were accosted by 5 men. The lady managed to run for help but the man was brutally attacked. By now, most you know the story. If you don’t, you can read about it at the Knysna-Plett Herald, here and here.
The lady involved spoke to me yesterday. She said that the attack on them in Paradise seemed to be a hate crime. She said that the attackers never spoke to them and never tried to rob them. They weren’t carrying cellphones on their walk but she was wearing a chain and watch. She said that their only goal was violence.
She was visibly shaken and there were tears in her eyes as she spoke. She’s a nice lady, always friendly, always warm but sadly, from experience, i know that ‘things’ such as this change you inside, give you a knot in your tummy that takes a long time to unravel.
Crime is always worst when it hits people we know or ourselves. Add the recent rape and kidnapping in next door Knysna Heights, and the white community of Knysna, particularly women, is reeling. What wasn’t reported in the news was that a maid, a black woman, was previously robbed on the same hill in Rio Street. 3 men told her that they’d rape her unless she gave them her belongings.
The sad fact is that crime has been increasing for a long time. Knysna’s crime is 3 times higher than that in George – when i blogged that article, i took a lot of flack from those who insist on denying reality as if that would protect them. The poorest neighbourhoods have had it the worst – what is happening in white suburbs is because no one stopped what was happening in coloured and black areas. It’s ridiculous that 20 years after we allegedly gained democracy that i’m still using racial classifications but that is unfortunately our reality.
Nothing is going to change until ALL of Knysna accepts that we’re in this together and that what affects one eventually affects us all. Bring back ubuntu for everyone and create mass action lest the lives we know are gone and the future we want never arrives.