Friday, January 15, 2010

If there was ever a time to bite your tongue...

I receive a daily newsletter from back home, purely because I want to keep up with the goings on in my home country. It's usually pretty standard: crime, car accidents, corrupt officials, police abuse, electricity prices, etc.

However, this morning's newsletter left me absolutely gob-smacked. Under the "most read" section was an article on a school in Port Elizabeth that was held up by thugs, who made off with a substantial amount of cash - the day's takings in school fees.

For starters, I want to know why this story was in the "most read" section, rather than the "news you should know" or "top stories" sections? Has South Africa become that much accustomed to violent crime that incidents of terrorists waltzing into schools with loaded guns are only afforded a mere mention?

This is not the source of my shock, however. A very smart police captain was quoted as saying, "I can't divulge the amount of money because criminals will now know they can make easy money from schools." Who says that?! Well done, Captain Rheeder, you didn't need to divulge the amount, you just single-handedly made every school in the country vulnerable to attack. You should be downplaying the amount or, better yet, not even mentioning the money!

Is it not enough that thugs have taken away our children's right to play in parks and streets without fear?

Now, thanks to poorly-chosen words, criminals have education by the throat also. Way to go, Captain.

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