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a wow experience in Pretoria inner city November 23, 2006

Posted by Cobus in Missional, South Africa.

I thought I should just balance out the story of hikers and hijackers with another one about a very good experience I had pointing out that maybe crime really is getting better. We organized a trip to Pretoria inner city for some members of the congregation a few weeks ago. Gawie from PEN took us out, we were about 15 students. First we drove to a point in the middle of the city where we had to wait for him. Just standing there was a bit of a stressful experience for some of us, especially for me, since I organized the trip.

When he arrived, we got into the combi and drove a few blocks further, where he showed us some of the work they are doing. He then gave us an exercise: You have R10 (about $1,30), and you have to find food for yourself, and a place to sleep for the night where you are safe. Now walk from here about 5 blocks and find that. At first I thought it was just a mind exercise, imagine yourself doing it. Then I realised we are really walking! And the amazing thing, we didn’t feel unsafe at all. We were walking in Pretoria inner city, cellphones and wallets in our pockets, guys, girls, just walking. OK, it was a group, but still, we did not feel unsafe in any way.

And when we got to Church square, some kids were there, exercising some sports. And we found some guys who wanted to preach to us. OK, some of the places in the inner city are still very dangerous, and obviously the guy working in the inner city gave us a route to walk that was safe. But it was still an amazing experience to feel completely safe in the place everyone is always warning you against. We still have a very long road ahead of us to make our country completely safe, but we are on our way! The result of that trip was that a couple of us are getting involved in work in the inner city, and trying to get the congregation to get more involved.



1. Spear - November 23, 2006

Dear Sir / Madam

That their is a crime problem is a fact. To ignore it, it won’t go away. if the goverment is not protecting us, which should complain.

Official statistics should be made available and the process of how it compiled must be explained to the public. Untill this is done no one can claim crime is going up or down.

So why is the goverment not making this known? What are they hiding?

The goverment should be pressured… This is our rights as citizens!

I do not agree with CESA because they complain and do not think about realistic solutions.

The fact is we cannot just do nothing! One more thing – I am not a racicst, but when any crime is commited against a black person by a white person, then it is called racicst?

Daily dozens of white South Africans is being murdered in HORRIBLE VIOLENT ways. WAYS THAT SHOW HATE. Yet, nobody call this racism? And calling it racism means I am a white racist…

talk about double standards.

2. Roger Saner - November 23, 2006

In what way is the above comment in any way related to this post?! And if you think it’s just white people in SA who are victims of crime…try speaking to someone who is not a lighter shade of pale.

Good stuff on your inner city experience, Cobus – would like to hear thoughts of others who were with you on that excursion.

3. Spear - November 25, 2006

The message was posted due to claims that crime is going down. Please, be assured that I am very happy he had a good experience, I wish all people could.

I also never said it is only white people suffering from crime… please read what I said…

When an 80 year old white lady is being raped and beaten to death by 3 black men in SA, why is it not called racist and reported so by the media? Any half decent psychologist would tell you this is a hate crime. Why is only white people called racist in SA?

I am tired of people not confronting the crime propblems and just trying to be PC about it. If there is a problem we should try and find a solution.

If you want to say I am a whiner, I have the right to whine… Hopefully our politicians will start listening… What else would you want me to do.. Go catch all the criminals myself?

If settling and saying O.K… we have the highest violent crime rate in the world … that is not so bad…that is nonsense!

We should strive to have the lowest crime rate in the world!

4. cobus - November 25, 2006

well, I simply said that we are on our way of making South Africa a safer country. It wasn’t based on stats, that wasn’t the intention. But maybe chek your stats, we are on our way. Violent crimes is occuring less every year. And I believe there is reason to hope that this trend will continue…

5. MMK - December 13, 2006

I am thinking of going to South Africa to pursue training/further education. Which place would you suggest in terms of safety? Durban, Cape Town or Pretoria. Johannesburg is out of the question because I am very likely to get shot(not because I wear a KKK gown).
To a greater extent, I agree with Spear because there is a stereotype that when one speaks of racism, an oppressed black individual comes to mind, and everyone follows and conforms to that stereotype, which tends to defeat the purpose of addressing racism in an unbiased way. However, this is prominent because Blacks have been subjected to alot of torment in the past.

Before I veer off topic, I’d like to highlight my concern and if anyone can answer my question, that’d be much appreciated.

6. cobus - December 14, 2006

Well, as a South African I make my choice of place to pursue education on which is the best university, technicon, or wherever I’m planning on going. Then I live there. Anyway I don’t know if one place is that much more of less safe than another.
I study in Pretoria, and don’t experience it as unsafe, but I have learned to live with caution in South Africa. Students in Stellenbosch (Cape) have there problems, but don’t consider it a reason not to study there. But the same can be said for those in Johannesburg.
So, if I where you I’d just find out which is the best place to study what you are planning on studying. But that would most probably be either Pretoria or Cape Town (whether US of UCT).

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