Gun-toting robbers pepper-sprayed a four-month-old baby in the latest South African violent atrocity to draw international attention. Graca Machel, wife of Nelson Mandela, has warned the country is "teetering on the brink" of "something very dangerous."
"Crime is out of control. It is getting worse and worse every day." (News 24) The words of Pam Naudé whose Durban home was invaded by violent gun wielding robbers who sprayed her four-month-old grandchild with pepper spray.
After pepper spraying the family dog and the baby, robbers pointed a gun at the baby's three-year-old sister. Naudé said "The baby was screaming with pain and he could not breathe. By this time two more suspects appeared. One of them cocked the gun and placed it to my husband’s head. He too was repeatedly pepper-sprayed."
The incident is the the latest in a stream of violent crimes which have catapulted South Africa into the headlines. The murder and torture of white farmers is on-going and police brutality is growing.
Speaking at the funeral of murdered Mozambican taxi driver Mido Macia, who was found dead in a police cell after being dragged along by a police van in a public place, Graca Machel, wife of Nelson Mandela, addressed the issue of extreme levels of violence in the country.
The Telegraph reported Machel said: "South Africa is an angry nation. We are on the precipice of something very dangerous with the potential of not being able to stop the fall.
The level of anger and aggression is rising. This is an expression of deeper trouble from the past that has not been addressed. We have to be more cautious about how we deal with a society that is bleeding and breathing pain.”
As Machel said the “increasing institutionalisation of violence” was creating a police force “actively aggressive towards a defenceless public," SABC reported mourners at Macia's funeral booed police officers out of the memorial service. Eight police officers were suspended following the outrage over Macia's death.