Monday, October 15

Watching the Murder of an Innocent Man

Couple of things here son. First is joburg. I've been there several times and its always been a scary place for me. One of the most scary places. In broad daylight, in downtown joburg. In front of the headquarters of the largest saffa bank, one is nervous. 

Second is this idea of a mob. I've been attacked in the middle of one in Harare and been part of many in bhopal and Indore. It's a mindless animal son. Something happens when a group of men and women are brought together, a demagogue whips up emotions and then it just snowballs out of control. The London riots, football riots in the uk etc are all examples of what mobs can do. 

Very dangerous son because reason doesn't work, intelligence is useless, personal character is squelched, civilisation vanishes and all you are left with is a mass of ugly ass violent people who can as easily turn into itself as that on an external object like police, trees and and and. 

Best option, walk away quietly, stay away from crowds. You cannot manage these risks. But if you are caught up in one, slowly very slowly move out from the centre towards the back of the mob. Pose as if you are going to be sick and pretend to vomit. And people will automatically squirm away from you and give you space. And then again slowly try to slip away. If the police come, don't fight, don't explain nothing. Simply do what they tell you and they will protect you. And call me :) we will sort you out. 



Watching the Murder of an Innocent Man

Pieter Hugo for The New York Times

Killing Field The open space between two squatter camps where Farai Kujirichita was beaten to death by vigilantes.

The mob, desperate for vengeance, had found an unlikely guide to lead them into their dark work. Fifteen-year-old Siphiwe, short, round-faced and reliably smiling, declared, “I know where these criminals live.”

He was a wayward teenager, a bad boy wanting to become a worse boy, and this gave him credibility in the matter of where vicious criminals might be found. A few men lifted him onto their shoulders so that the crowd, already in the hundreds, could see him better. Then an older man, wiser about these things, said to put the boy down. More than likely, they were about to kill someone. No one in the mob ought to be too conspicuous.

Diepsloot, in the northern reaches of Johannesburg, is a settlement of 150,000 people, the majority of them destitute. Crime oversteps even poverty as the most bedeviling affliction, and the night before, a gang of thugs marauded through one of the huge squatter camps in a subdivision called Extension 1. They were a methodical bunch, taking their time, shrewd about where to find stashes of cash amid the pittances, aware also of the police’s reluctance to enter the weave of shacks — the mokhukhus — where the narrow, unlighted pathways can be a fearsome labyrinth. The criminals killed two people, though the churning rumor mill put the number as high as 11.

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