Time for citizens to give to and not take from our country
SOUTH Africa is a beautiful country from a socioeconomic and cultural point of view. We have world-class infrastructure, a modest economy, cultural diversity, amazing scenery, a rich history, an admirable Constitution - the list goes on.
But South Africa is equally becoming a lawless and godforsaken country.
The unemployment rate, crime, HIV-Aids, alien behaviour and tendencies are growing and does not bestow hope nor inspire confidence in citizens
One cannot help but say, cry, my beloved country, cry.
Our beautiful country is slowly becoming a joke in the world.
Some have even decried our motherland as a failed state in the making.
This is not because of apartheid. Surely not some "white tendencies" or counter-revolutionary forces. Nor can we blame foreigners.
This is purely of our own making and our tolerance for alien tendencies that have found refuge in our society.
I am referring to entitlement to government services, which manifests itself in: burning government and public representatives' properties; dependency on the government for free services and other amenities; the perpetuation of criminal impunity and corruption that has infiltrated every sphere of government and every corner of society and ongoing sexual and physical violence against women and children.
Sexual violation is becoming a sport for some men. These tendencies have become a way of life and a career in some quarters.
Hardly a day goes by without reports of rape, murder and other horrifying criminal activities. We read about such incidents daily and we are now accustomed to their being reported, gruesome as they are.
The unfortunate criminal incidents hardly awaken an ounce of a conscience in some of us.
Criminals mushroom in every corner of the country and are a law unto themselves.
They have no respect for anyone, but themselves. They have no respect for the rights of other citizens. In fact, human rights do not exist in their world.
The moral compass in the country is degenerating at an alarming rate. This is sad indeed.
Is it not time to tighten the screws of our legal system and send a strong message that crime does not pay? But apparently crime does pay big in this country.
I wish our country would learn a thing or two from China and other countries of the East. Restorative justice should be reserved for petty crimes and there should be punitive justice for crimes such as rape, murder and others.
Decisive action is required if the war against some of these tendencies is to be won.
Political will is critically important.
Is it not time for the country to limit and or suspend the human rights of those who consciously and deliberately choose to terrorise society, inflict pain on innocent citizens, violate human rights of others and premeditate violence against law-abiding citizens?
What our country needs is respect for human life. Those who do not respect the lives of others do not deserve to be respected either.
Certainly, we do need moral regeneration to instil positive values, inculcate a culture of respect and discipline and a caring society.
It would also help for the country to subscribe to what John F Kennedy, the former US president, said in 1961: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."
lNyalunga is a researcher and writer