ANOTHER rape and brutal mutilation, another bout of condemnation from journalists, politicians, church leaders and the public, but by this time next week, all will be forgotten and we will be on to a new atrocity.
More than 60 000 known rapes a year is a pandemic and this is not a pandemic that any revised legislation can resolve. We would be naive to presume that the reintroduction of the death penalty will make a difference. It won’t.
It is a problem that no police force in the world would be able to sort out, because it has gone too far. So, where does the onus for its solution fall?
It falls on the shoulders of the men of South Africa. A rape victim may not have a father, a brother, a son or a husband, but all rape victims will know some man who cares, and those that care, from all races, from all areas and all age groups must take up the fight to eradicate this plague.
By taking up the fight, I do not mean observing 16 days of non-violence against women and children, holding up placards and protesting outside parliament, or signing useless petitions. These are all token measures and although they give moral support, they are ineffective and we all know that.
Taking up the fight is about getting physical, because physical action is the only action that scumbag rapists understand.
In the late 1980s, when the Aids epidemic had taken control in Zimbabwe, there arose a popular misconception that raping a white woman would bring immunity from the disease.
In Avondale, a suburb of Harare, it was reported in the press that two white women had been raped in quick succession. It was also reported a few weeks later that two would-be rapists had been found dead on the streets in the same area.
The police investigated all of these incidents, but we heard no more from the media. However, the grapevine told us that the two would-be rapists had been done in by male family members of the rape victims, dressed as decoys.
We had no way of knowing if the would-be rapists were also the real rapists, on their second round, but what we did know is that the rapes ceased immediately, and the fallacy of immunity from Aids died on the streets with them.
So, what are the men of South Africa doing about protecting their women? Is it not an insult that the scum of the country can do what they like with our fairer sex, while we sit around and drink beer and braai meat.
We are an outdoor sporting nation, with so-called macho men, so where are our boxers, our bodybuilders, our base and bungee jumpers, our canoeists and cyclists, our distance swimmers and ultra-distance runners, our endurance and moto-cross riders, our skydivers, surfers and our tri-athletes, our hunters and fishermen?
One and all, fitness and outdoor fanatics, but none prepared to stick their necks out to keep their women safe.
Where are our rough, tough rugger buggers, from club level to the Bokke? While we plan the downfall of the Reds, the Blues and the Crusaders, the dregs of this country rape our women and we do nothing.
Where are our Bafana Bafana, Chiefs and Pirates supporters, dressed in all their colourful regalia? While we blow our vuvuzelas, the riff-raff rape our women and we do nothing.
What is the point of being the world’s top test cricket nation, if we are also the rape capital of the world? One cancels out the other.
Then, what about the men who identify themselves as really tough, the leather-clad Harley Davidson bike riders, or the assegai-bearing mine strikers, ready for action, but not for the action of protecting their women?
For mankind to maintain his civilisation, he sometimes has to act like a barbarian. We cannot live in a passive, peace loving society at the same time as affording freedom to depraved reprobates.
Something has to give. The most effective way to deal with rapists is at the scene of the crime, not incourt. The bush telegraph is still the best way of getting the right message across and around, as was proved in Avondale, and it is the duty of the men in any society to do this.
Do South African men have what it takes to defend their wives, daughters, sisters and mothers, without handing it over to a lawyer, or doing another unproductive protest march, or are they just a bunch of wimps? Do they have the testicles to emulate Avondale?
I think not. If they did, they would have already acted to show they mean business.
Bob Mcchlery, Kenton on Sea