We all know that we live in a ‘country of transformation’. We’re kind of like those little toys that only a 5-year old could operate that would turn miraculously from some outlandish looking attack robot into an innocent little conveyance like, say, a corvette with front-mounted chain gun (soon to be optional on all local luxury sedans).

We’re currently in that in-between stage where it doesn’t really look like anything and can’t serve any really useful purpose other than looking like a car-wreck or a piece of modern art. Our police, our health services and our government are floundering about trying to get the leg piece to fit where the spoiler should go. We’re not very good at anything except crime.

Our criminals are phenomenally efficient and innovative and are a shining example to the rest of the world. I fully expect them to soon start holding international seminars and advertising their services on DSTV. At least we are good at something.
But then, listening to the radio I heard what, to me, was a frightening statistic. It was reported as good news but if you put a little logical thought behind it you have to worry. The first piece of news sounded good: murders are down 9% this year compared with last. Fantastic. Great. Brilliant.

But, according to police, attempted murder is up. This means that our criminal element is losing its edge. This once proud community, steeped in tradition, is allowing those skills that have taken it so far, that have placed it so high in the esteem of all South Africans that we have moved into mini-communities covered by guard towers, to be corrupted and wane.

This is sad, when even your criminals get lazy and lackluster about their approach to their chosen profession. It makes me sick. When I’m mugged at knifepoint I want to know that my criminal is a dedicated professional. Hardened and tough, a force to be reckoned with and that as the knife slides between my ribs that it will go straight and true, not crunch accidentally through bone and marrow before plunging into my vital organs. How about a little quality workmanship here?

This is a true tragedy, the last bastion of true quality in South Africa has fallen. We must all pull together in support and urge them to again move forward, progress and reach new heights they never before believed possible. Maybe the government could launch a commission of inquiry, hire some consultants to produce a six-word report and start criminal support groups. If we do not I have images of hapless criminals waiting in alleys for victims, knife in hand and ready to pounce, having to wear little walkman tape players with a looped tape reciting: “Sharp end in first … Sharp end in first.”

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