Delia Adonis, a 52-year-old mother of six was beaten bloody at Stadium on Main in Claremont, Cape Town last month. Why? Because she dared to help a man who had allegedly been assaulted by a group of five university students after they exited the nightclub, Tiger Tiger.
According to News24, later in the evening after Adonis had helped the man, she went outside to smoke and discovered that the group was waiting for her. They began to circle her, asking why she helped the man who was assaulted, and hurled racial slurs like “coloured cunt” at her.
Adonis’ son, who had come down to collect keys from his mother, saw the group surrounding her and tried to intervene, only to be pushed away. He had to watch, helpless, as his mother was kicked to the ground and then violently assaulted.
Assaulted because she dared to try and help another human being. Because she made someone else’s obvious pain her business. Because she was trying to be a good person. And because of the colour of her skin.
According to IOL, Adonis was beaten so badly that her face was covered in blood and she couldn’t move. Her son had to help her up. Luckily, they managed to get the registration of the car the group drove away in.
And this is only the latest incident in a string of racially-motivated attacks. According to EWN, a state prosecutor has revealed that there are at least 10 race-related cases currently being investigated in Cape Town.
You know how this makes me feel? Livid. I am filled with a white hot RAGE. I cannot even convey the feeling in words because there aren’t enough of them in the universe to properly sum up how angry it makes me that people would do this to someone. And it’s not because I’m coloured. It’s because I’m a human being who believes in equality, freedom and non-violence.
But, it also makes me scared.
Just the other day I was actually walking down the very same street where Stadium On Main is situated with a friend of mine, who happens to be white, holding his hand. We were crossing the street (the pedestrian light was green) when a man pulled up the robot at a speed and hooted at us with a look of pure indignant anger on his face. I had a mini heart-attack as I thought he was about to hit my friend, but we managed to cross the street safely. I asked him what he thought might have made the driver react that way; road rage, confusion, etc. And he replied: “Or maybe he’s just a racist and didn’t like the fact that we were holding hands.”
I made a joke about it then, but after reading about the attack on Delia Adonis, I think the incident could very well have been racially motivated. He agreed. “It was like the hatred radiated off him,” he said.
So does mean next time I walk around the ‘burbs I’ll be beaten up for looking like a prostitute? Or hit with a sjambok because I was mistaken for a thief? Will a random motorist see me with my friend again and try to run us over? Do I have to carry a weapon as a means of protection now?
Do we not live in a free South Africa? Are we not all supposed to be able to walk wherever the hell we want, holding the hand of whoever we want, without having to cower in fear of being attacked by racist bigots?
What did all those people fight for during apartheid? What is this fake freedom? Freedom is not fear. Freedom is not minding who you anger for being the wrong colour. Freedom simply is.
And as if the attack on Adonis wasn’t bad enough, after she laid a complaint at Claremont police station, she was later called by a detective and told that the alleged attackers were willing to pay her off in exchange for her dropping the charges. Adonis refused the pay off and to let the matter go.
But the dirty cop who tried to enforce the bribe called the Wynberg district state prosecutor, Nathan Johnson, and lied saying that Adonis had dropped the charges against the students. Luckily, Johnson was informed that Adonis was not, in fact, dropping the charges and also that the detective in question had been suspended on an unrelated matter.
So not only are we to live in fear, but now we’re to have even less faith in our justice system. No wonder only 1 in 5 South African women have faith in the police. I’m sad to say, after reading stories about rape, murder, racially motivated attacks and the like, I’m definitely not one of them.
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