Thursday, September 20, 2007

20th of September. Thursday

Sorry it's been so long. I moved houses, went away for a holiday and didnt have a card reader, as well as a few pressing matters in terms of the restaurant that kept me from blogging. It's been a very long time since i slept :-(

So let me try and recap what's been happening

Now you are probably wondering: what the HELL is happening in the pictures above? Why is there like over a dozen cops around this poor looking lady? She must be some hectic criminal..

Well no she is not. That's Olga, whose only crime was being afraid of the cops.

Let me start from the top:
- so it was a lovely morning and the sun was shining. I opened the window to get some fresh air... and saw a whole bunch of metro cops running into my building. I found it worrying. I mean i know the tires on my car are a bit smooth... ok very smooth... but it's not THAT bad is it?

I rushed downstairs to see them surround a couple of homeless women, pulling them by the arms and shouting at them. I shouted: What the hell is going on and why are you in my building??

It seems that when Olga and Fikile saw the cops - they ran inside to where i let them put their stuff during the day to try and hide their things.

The cops said:
- They illegally trespassed
i said:
me:- no I give them permission to use this as a storage facility
cops:- Ok, but we have to search them.
me:- On what grounds?
cops:- They ran from us.
me:- well yes, you keep taking their stuff
cops:- erm, they are sleeping in the street
me:- no they are not
cops:- well, they are selling stuff illegally
me:- no they are not... where is this stuff they are selling?
cops:- well we have to search them anyway
me:- do you have a permit?
cops:- yes.

they didn't. Instead they just proceeded to search her, rather violently, after covering their name badges from us. We kept shouting, they kept shouting back and actually laughing at us and telling us to just get lost, unable to answer a simple question: What right do you have???

The pictures you see above are taken by Chris with his cellphone, which they actually tried to take from him. He had to run away. The rest of us got threatened and insulted.

I usually am quite ok with cops. My mom was an ambulance driver when she was young and often had to rely on cops for help. She taught me to respect them as being 'just people doing their job'.. well these cops didn't act like people, and if their job is to harass homeless people instead of helping fight real crime... then i do not wish to pay my taxes towards their salaries.

But on a positive note - this was the first time i shouted 'Oink' at a passing Cop van since i was 16 ;-)

What else?
Thandi is back from hospital, after 2 weeks or more of absence. She is looking a lot better and has some medicine. she's been asked to go back on the 26th.

Her daughter came back with - to everyone's uncontained delight - the son ;-) She came to see her sick mom, but now cant go back as the family didn't have enough money for a two way bus ticket. We are going to try scrape together some money to send her back.

The daughter is very sick. She has AIDS. She has lost a pile of weight and mostly sleeps. the kid has good days and bad days. When he is sick - his chest sounds like a grinder and he cries a lot. When he is well - he provides entertainment for the whole street. He is one of those beautiful kids you cant walk past without smiling. everyone plays with him, and every girl in the office is madly in love with him. Lets just say - whenever he is around productivity around here drops

1 comment:

Malcolm said...

Considering how much you hear stories like this where the Metro Police are harassing homeless people across JHB, it seems that it is a crime to be old, sick and helpless on the streets of Johannesburg. It really does not matter what laws you have against vagrancy or whatever else people are being accused of, if you have no place to go, then you have no place to go.

And more maths, if every member of parliament (national) was prepared to sacrifice R1000 per month of there already inflated monthly salaries it would amount to approxiamtely R400 000 per month.

If that was used as a monthly bond repayment, you could build for more than R33 000 000 (at the current prime lending rate of 13.5% over 240 months).

And considering that we have 9 Provincial governments each divided into numerous Metros each with their own councils, mayors, municipal managers, etc. That figure could probably be increased into billions. Priorities?

Include the Private Sector into that and one has to wander how we still have a homeless problem?