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Murder rate forces us to self-reflect

Image: 123rf/ Igor Stevanovic

Today we report on a series of murders which have been occurring in the Daveyton area, in Gauteng, in the last two weeks.

The frequency with which bodies were discovered has been astonishing.

A woman's body was found under a bed in a rented room last week Saturday. She had been murdered allegedly by her boyfriend. On the same day, a decomposed body of a woman was found, also under a bed, in her boyfriend's home.

On Sunday, the bodies of a couple were found. Five days later, a woman allegedly stabbed her boyfriend to death and she fled. At the weekend, another woman's body was found. She was burnt. The community of Mayfield, near Daveyton, was shocked to wake up to find her charred remains on the street on Friday.

Early indications were that she had been killed and burnt elsewhere, and then dumped in Mayfield.

As the bodies keep piling up, we must remember that these are not just stories.

They are evidence of pain inflicted, families in turmoil and lives destroyed.

They are also not unique to Daveyton. Across the land, families are reeling from bloodshed, caused by strangers and loved ones alike.

More important, these are a stark reminder of how we are a nation whose psyche is so entrenched in violent behaviour that we are raising a generation of children who are at best, witnesses of normalised violence, and at worst direct or indirect victims thereof.

When these incidents occur, we rightfully point the finger at poor law enforcement. Indeed we must demand that government fulfills its constitutional mandate to ensure security and justice. However, that does not go far enough.

We, as citizens equally have a responsibility to the hard work of self-reflection and social accountability.

This is often where we fail.

We do not delve far enough into how we as individuals, families and communities contribute a society where violence is our norm.

Until we do, regardless of how much we desire it, we are unlikely to create a better, safer nation than that which we inherited.

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