My first experience of a true election was in 1994, our first legal election, legal as in fair, no discrimination, anyone who was anyone could vote. The period leading up to that day though will be forever branded in my head. The school bus used to pick us up and drop us off at a train station on the way to Cape Town.
On one particular Friday, as the bus drove in to the road where they normally dropped us off, something happened that changed me forever. All we could see was smoke, the flames were on the road itself and there was screaming. The shrieks and the cries, both in agony and in anger, chilled me to my bones.
I sat dead still in my seat as the bus driver tried to drive through the riot, navigate around fallen bodies, getting us to safety. I had never seen anything like it, the screams, the smoke, the blood, the anger and the sheer force of being in the middle of it threw me. As I stared out of the window I noticed this guy about 3 metres away from me, he was half standing, half falling, just next to my window.
All I remember is the ring of fire around his neck, the blood and the blood curdling scream bubbling from his neck. A tyre soaked in petrol had been thrown over his head and lit, he had been necklaced and he wasn’t the only one, there were many. The smell stays with me till this day.
Where were the police? They were at another riot worse than ours just down the road. I don’t remember the exact date, I don’t remember much other than what I saw, felt, smelt and tasted. I remember that the bus driver started swearing, everyone was stressing and we were told to stay away from the windows. I remember stepping off that bus a couple of blocks down the road and feeling my legs like jello, they shook like a leaf.
In 1995 I was in Kenya and just happened to end up being there during their elections. For four days we weren’t allowed to leave our home, we were holed up inside, sending our security to go get supplies for us. The screams from the road raged through the night, the loud bangs and the smell of things burning once more returned.
Violence, anger, rage
It solves everything doesn’t it?
The US elections are finally hear and I am grateful but I know that the mud slinging will never stop. No matter who wins there will be fights coming “Mine is still better than yours”, “This one and that one is a racist”, “This one bought so much clothes”… they happened before the election and they won’t stop when its done and dusted either.
People just don’t respect each other
I hope and I pray that both the American public and those in other countries do not react with disrespect once the final decision is made.
I hope there are no more attempts on Barracks life
I hope there are no more jibes about racism, who is and who isn’t
I hope that there is no more violence or hate crimes
I hope and I pray
You don’t have to like each other to show respect, just common decency with the understanding that each has their own thoughts, their own views and own beliefs.
Hope you all had a great election day and it went smoothly,
Viva la new presidento who ever that may be