Friday, March 6, 2009


Precisely 10 minutes before the official 10am start of this morning's sessions in the Johannesburg High Court we were alerted to the fact that a judgement was going to be given in yet another round of the Scorpions vs disgraced police chief Jackie Selebi. None of us on duty had been covering the ongoing saga and nobody knew what was going on. I drew the short straw, and got the assignment.
One of the news editors quickly printed out some background, I filled in a car slip and charged down to the basement where a driver was waiting. I closed my eyes in prayer as he did 0 to 100km's an hour through city traffic and dropped me off at the front entrance, mere seconds later.
The hearing itself was a tedious and boring as I expected. No big dramas.
As I tried to leave I encountered a whole stack of women in purple t-shirts protesting. They were standing in solidarity with a woman named Buyisiwe who was gang-raped by six men in 2005. Posters detailing each step in her stalling court case were tied to the palisade fencing in front of the court. It was a truly horrifying account and my heart went out to the poor soul.
The protestors however, unfortunately seemed to attract more curious stares than pledges of support. They were angry and loud. One sported a giant badge appropriately sporting the logo "Pissed Off Woman". Some had duct tape over their mouths. The main attraction was a woman with a shaved head in a white robe and leather sandals splattered with fake blood, lying on the steps leading up to the grand court entranceway. She had a bandage over her eyes with JUSTICE writted across it, presumably for those who didn't get who she was supposed to be. She had the scales of justice in one hand and a giant gold cardboard sword in the other.
This in itself would have been a fairly striking image. But she would shriek out: "Why is there no justice?" to anyone walking past, which scared quite a few people and had them stepping off smartly in alarm.
I truly hope the angry women eventually managed to achieve the point they were trying to make. And that justice will eventually be served for Buyisiwe.


  1. at least they tried. too many people keep quiet and rant to themselves.

  2. I think all the women in South Africa should stand up in protest against rape and abuse of women, children and vulnerable people in South Africa. The perpetrators love silence! By not reacting at all humanity silently gives permission for it to continue until it happens to someone that you or I love!

  3. Ja. Apparently they were back at court again today. I think they are making a difference!