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I just read an article about a dog’s head that was found in a bag along a rather busy main road in Cape Town.

Now, what was shocking is that people congregated in the area because at first it was unclear whether the head belonged to a human being or an animal. On discovering that it was an ‘insignificant’ animal head, the onlookers quickly dispersed, as if it wasn’t as impressive, had it been a human head, then maybe they would be intrigued for longer.

What is the reason behind our laxity around acts of horror? Is it that we are so accustomed to the atrocities of our time? So desensitized, that we are numb? That not even a decapitated animal is shocking to us?

‘Op seer se spoor’

This past weekend I made the mistake of binge-watching a series titled ‘Op seer se spoor’. I have heard whispers of it before and although intrigued, I was not ready to watch it, until now.

The eloquent and powerfully articulate journalist, Ernusta Maralack, travels the country visiting the families of victims of SA’s most heinous crimes. The stories we have forgotten, but for the families left behind, their forever reality. Each episode covers a gruesome crime depicting murders so inhumane, so atrocious and heart-shattering.

I was left reeling. Outraged. Blind fury consumed me after one particular interview in which Ernusta spoke to the mother of Lekita Moore. I remember her face. She would have been the same age as my youngest daughter now. She looked so much like her mother.

For a moment I imagined that I am her, Lekita’s mom. That it was my daughter who was taken from me and I cannot breathe and as I gasp for air I thank God that my daughter is safely tucked in her bed. I feel guilty for finding relief that this story is not mine. Because it is someone else’s and I realise that so many more have the same story as Lekita.

What is the root of this evil that plagues us?

Not featured in the series, but one that continues to haunt me is the story of Tazne van Wyk. She was abducted metres from her home. Every night that they searched for her I prayed that she would be found alive. That this story would not end like the others. But it did, and like many others, if the justice system did not fail us, Tazne would be alive today.

I leave you with questions to which I am desperately seeking answers.
What is the root of this evil that plagues us? How do we fix the blatant laxity of our government in terms of the brutal and inhumane murders of (mostly) our women and girl children? How do we become unaccustomed to the atrocities of our society so that we can stop them from happening? How?

*These are the opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of Vannie Kaap News.