Murder with marinade

Murder is a social contact crime that often occurs between people who know one another such as relatives, friends, acquaintances, colleagues and neighbours.” This reassuring nugget of information emerged in a study released this week. It makes murder sound like such jolly good fun. Like something you might want to do around the braai while waiting for the rugby to start.

I’m surprised there’s not a Castle Lager advert out already. A multi-racial group is gathered around the Weber, one guy blowing the coals, another basting the chops, a third one starting to sing Shosholoza … a heart-warming scene that takes place in back gardens everywhere on any given Saturday. But wait! What’s this? A white guy wearing a Blue Bulls jersey has just rammed a braai fork into a black guy’s jugular. Their girlfriends giggle at the impish horseplay. The black guy, gurgling happily in blood, lifts his Castle and takes a swig. The beer leaks from the holes in his throat. Everyone cheers and raises their bottles. Stimela si qhamuka e South Africa!

I am delighted to report that the study found Cape Town to have the highest murder rate of any city in the country. Yay for us! Not only will this boost tourism in the lucrative yet untapped Spanish-speaking psychopath market, but it goes a long way towards disproving allegations that we are hostile towards outsiders.

People who move to Cape Town frequently complain that it is “cliquey” and almost impossible to break into the different coteries that exist on the right and wrong sides of the mountain.The reason we split into factions and camps is that we like to keep social contact crimes between friends and family. If you force your way into our clique, we may be forced to kill you. I’m not saying you shouldn’t try, but just be aware that being gaining access to the inner circle in many of Cape Town’s communities does come with its own set of risks.

This isn’t Joburg where people go around killing total strangers. That’s just common and nasty. Out here in the rose-tinted colony we prefer to get to know our victims over cocktails at the Nellie and maybe a game or two of tennis before slitting their throats. We’re not animals, you know.

Joburg, unsurprisingly, takes top honours in the aggravated robbery category. Your traditional old-school smash-and-grab not good enough, eh? Of course not. I mean, where’s the fun in nicking stuff if you’re not angry while doing it? Makes sense, I s’pose. You wouldn’t be doing it if you weren’t pissed off about something or other. Stealing a hi-fi meets a need on one level, but there’s nothing quite so cathartic as shooting a pensioner in the face on your way out.

Durban seems to have come in a poor third in most categories, but not because they are lazy people. Far from it. My personal opinion is that they are chokers. I think Durban would like to move up into the premier league but strangulation is not as glamorous as bludgeoning and the outcome is iffy. Anyway, it’s far too humid for serious social contact crimes. You might think you’re up for pangas at dawn but then you oversleep and it’s just easier to stay in bed and fight another day. Or go to the mall and fight the next day. Unless it’s raining.

I should point out that the study – which lists Cape Town as the 34th most dangerous city in the world and has Joburg trailing in a disappointing 50th position – was done by Mexico’s Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice. I’m not saying the council is a front for the Tijuana drug cartel. I’m not saying it isn’t, either. But they did come to the hallucinatory conclusion that Port Elizabeth is more dangerous than Joburg. The researchers should have their bottoms searched and their blood tested.



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