Survival and murder on the way to work

Hlompho Mohapi - woman murdered in George

Hlompho Mohapi’s murder, stabbed and throat slit on the Garden Route, emphasises that people need to be able to live where they work… or jobs need to be created where most live.

“Southern Cape Police are investigating the murder of a 25-year old woman from Thembalethu in George, Western cape. Hlompho Mohapi’s body was found on Thursday next to a gravel road near Herold’s Bay. She was stabbed and her throat was partially slit. Community members say she was given a lift to the airport, where she would have started a new job. Not long after, some of her friends received a text from her saying that she is being threatened. No arrests have been made. The police have appealed to the public to come forward with information that can assist in the investigation. They can call the Crime Stop number 08-600-10-111.”

I severely missed my beloved Garden Route the past 3 months whilst I rented a room in Durban city. Night time was crazy, mornings streets full of broken beer bottles and litter. This past weekend, I witnessed a mugging, a beating (deserved) and a kidnapping. Yet I’d watch hardworking people having to walk the dangerous streets in the dark hours, not only having to pass through my area but still travel far to Umlazi, Kwamashu wherever. Those poor people, danger faced daily for survival in our cruel world.

And often it’s just survival. A cleaner in my building spends two-thirds of her pay on traveling 80km a day, so she can support her unemployed adult children and their children.

Think of Hlompho Mohapi. Hlompho knew she was in trouble. Fear before death is worse than death alone. She was probably like all those others who stand along the N2 with R20 waving from their hand, hoping to be picked up. And we all know that the pretty girls and kids get picked up first.

This is South Africa. Hitchhiking is dangerous.

People must live where they work… and that must arrive with effective policing lest our cities of hope also become townships of despair.