Friday, April 30, 1999

Johannesburg Crime Stories

A few nights ago I thought I heard a gunshot
I read in the newspaper the next day
that the sound I had heard was indeed a gun
that was fired during a car-hijacking
the driver died face down near to his home
the newspapers further revealed
weeks later
that the man who died face down on the tar
was ripping a company off for millions
and it was his stolen wealth that had enabled him
to buy the new car
that was so attractive to a criminal
that it was worth killing for
the story went on to say
that the car had been recovered in the suburbs
on the same day as the fraudulent man’s funeral
the car
which was now second-hand
was found in the possession of another businessman
who really wanted a new car with all the trimmings
but could not afford it
because his child needed private schooling
which was essential to prevent his son
from mixing with unsavoury elements
the man is now being charged with buying stolen goods
and his wife is appalled by the crime wave
and how the innocent seem to always come off second
what is more
is that yesterday
she read
that a gorilla was shot in a bizarre shoot-out
with a criminal at the zoo
so directly after attending her husband’s hearing
she wrote to the newspaper
calling for the police to get tougher on crime
strangely the hijacker’s wife read the letter
she showed it to a neighbour
who strongly agreed with the views expressed
because recently seven houses had been robbed
in their street

Published by Brandon Hamber
New Contrast, 1999, No. 108, Volume 27, Number 4, p. 72-73