One murder is one murder too many.
Each senseless, violent death causes devastation to friends, family, loved ones.
We remember in particular the recent murders in Observatory of Dominic Giddy, and Benny Pakiso Moqobane (both UCT students).
Also the murder of Masoa Pheello (a CPUT student), murdered in the street in Woodstock (apparently for his cellphone).
Also the murders of Prof Mike Larkin – murdered in the street in Rondebosch -
And Prof Kevin Rochford – murdered in his driveway in Little Mowbray.
• Also the murders of the 11 people in the Woodstock precinct who died in the 2008 -2009 year (according to official police statistics)
• Also the 121 people murdered in Khayelitsha in the same year
• Also the 135 people murdered in Gugulethu in the same year.
• Also the 2 346 people murdered in the Western Cape in the same year
• And the 18 148 people murdered in South Africa in the same year
• And the 50 people who were murdered today in South Africa
• And the 50 people who will be murdered tomorrow in South Africa.
• To understand this, take the impact of 1 murder and multiply it by 50, or by 18 148.
The point is not to make us feel helpless or despairing; the point is to remind us never to accept this state of affairs as normal.
The point is to do whatever we can to change a situation where 50 murders a day is seen as a statistic that we can live with.
By standing together here we are demonstrating that we cannot and will not accept this as normal.
I am reminded of the well-known words of John Donne, English poet and one-time Dean of St Pauls: ‘Send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee’
Lets do what we can to ensure that this bell stops tolling, 50 times a day.