Petty Squabble Turns Violent

Sept 26th

This evening I saw my first act of senseless violence in South Africa; I guess it had to happen sometime.  I went down to the local store to buy a drink (not that kind) around 7:00PM, and there I see the shop owner has got his burglar-proof  reinforced steel grill down and locked, with an upset patron yelling at him from the other side.  It seems that this guy (the patron) expected to be given more airtime (cellphone minutes) than he had received.  I thought it was no big deal at first, but then this guy actually picked up a rock and started gesturing towards the store owner through the “service booth” section of the steel grill.  The owner basically told him to go stuff himself and the dude skulked off in disgust, carelessly dropping the rock which bounced down and hit the rim of a car.  THEN the owner of said car (who saw this whole incident) jumps out, simultaneously grabs the rock and the angry patrons collar, and slams the dude against a wall yelling rapidly in Tshivenda.  I managed to catch some phrases, such as “kill you” and “call the police” but at this point it was pretty chaotic.  There was a crowd of about 20 by this point, some of whom explained to me that the dude in the car knew the shop owner.  I guess someone did call the police, but of course they wouldn’t be there for at least another 40 minutes.  The shop owners’ buddy was at this point dragging the guy behind the store, rock in hand, with the crowd egging him on and I didn’t want to see what happened back there so I split.  What’s really sad is that this whole thing was over an airtime package worth less than one American dollar, and I’m not exaggerating.  Extra screwy part: the guy who got beat up had a toddler waiting for him in his car.   I don’t even know what to say about that, but there it is.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: