An eye for an eye

Colin Jooste, Observatory

There has been an alarming escalation in the senseless murders of young people over the past few years, in particular since the abolishment of the death sentence.

The archaic approach of the Law of Moses of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth has already been relegated into the canyons of oblivion by Jesus as barbaric.

Having said that, the time has come and is in fact long overdue that this evil tide be stemmed.

How this is going to be done alone only the one, from whom life flows, knows. Communi-ties are shocked but within days carry on with their lives. This evil has become a norm of everyday life, and that is the sad part. The follow-ing poems speak about this evil phenomenon:

I know my killer’s face

I know my killer’s face

will recognise it in any place

but dead men tell no tales

Otherwise they would fill all the jails.

I know my killer’s face

He is of another race

I pleaded for my life

I have parents, children and a wife.

I know my killer’s face

A skillful, knife-wielding ace

“I’ll teach you rich swines a lesson”

This was his short and pithy confession.

By the flash of his knife my life was taken

By the news of my death my family was shaken

If apprehended, his sentence will be suspended

For to kill me, he never intended.

Thus prematurely my life came to an end

Not being streetwise, myself I could not defend

From my grave I vow he’ll be haunted

So easily in future, his knife will not be flaunted.

In the New South Africa life has become dirt-cheap

In violent crime our country is knee-deep

Constitutionally criminals may no longer hang

Thus the vulnerable prepare to go with a flash or a bang.

I know my victim’s face

I know my victim’s face

Will recognise it even in a haze

He had so much fear in his eyes

Acknowledging his imminent demise

His academic dreams he will never realise.

The moment in time I, his killer chose

My strength, overpowering, he could not oppose

By surprise he was overtaken

by shock he was shaken

Overwhelmed by criminal intent.

I know my victim’s face

To kill was not factored into this space

A coward he was certainly not

In jail I was not going to rot.

My knife was merely to induce fear

Now he’s lost to all who hold him dear

To stand his ground was a brave choice

In his untimely death I do not rejoice

His contribution to society we’ll never know.

* “Student killed’’ splashed on all the front pages – a promising fourth-year student’s life snuffed out.