This is a tragic story and one that makes me very sad and mad about the state of criminal violence in South Africa.
David Greig, a 65 year old cattle and pig farmer from Hartzenbergfontein in the Vaal Triangle, was murdered in the kitchen of his farm house where his mother suffered a similar fate 12 years ago.
Mr Greig was murdered by three burglars who broke into his farm house yesterday. He was shot once in the head and twice in the chest. He died on the floor exactly where his mother, Hannah Greig, was killed 12 years ago.
Mrs Hannah Greig (72) was attacked by 12 men in 1996. All 12 are currently serving a combined 175 year prison sentence for her murder.
Mr Greig's wife, Jeanette Greig (64), was home at the time of his murder. She was brutally beaten and stabbed with a "blunt knife" according to the News24 report.
Mrs Jeanette Greig told the attackers to "shoot me too, that's OK. You've murdered my husband and I can't live without him."
Mr Greig came to South Africa from Wales in 1967. His son, David, describes his father as committed to South Africa despite the many farm murders that have taken place in recent years.
The men who murdered Mr Greig stole R1200 ($120). He lost his life for R1200!
David says Mr Greig "believed" in South Africa. I admire him but must admit that my belief is wearing thin.
South Africans of all kinds live in fear of criminals throughout the country. There is not a day that one does not hear of someone who was assaulted for a cell phone, killed in a burglary, or carjacked.
In April last year my childhood friend, Bryan, was murdered by robbers inside of his home.
Almost a year has passed and we still do not know who killed Bryan. His wife and three kids have struggled to piece their lives together and live daily with the torment of not knowing who killed him.
The police are not even fronting as if they will be able to solve Bryan's murder or the many other murders of innocent people who have suffered a similar fate.
I have wondered aloud here why we are such a violent country. I still cannot offer any credible reasons beyond the fact that we remain so steadfastly a f*cked-up nation.
Like Mr Greig I want to believe in South Africa. I want also to believe that the African National Congress (ANC) can put together a f*cking government that will firmly address crime and make this country safe for all its people.
I harbour no illusions though. South Africa is still the most violent country outside of a war context. South Africans kill for R1200 routinely, hell they kill for less.
Crime is a way of life and it is becoming harder to believe that there is even reason to believe it will change any time soon.
May Mr Greig rest in peace even as he hardly lived in peace.
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