an old school friend of ours was shot & killed last week in cape town. i found this out on facebook at midnight from a friend in hawaii (!!!). needless to say i was TOTALLY freaked out & an awful night’s sleep ensued.

the next day was spent hunting down any information that i could to try & find out what happened. firstly because it was a tragedy that struck someone we knew but secondly because if it turned out to be a robbery / hijacking on my doorstep well i would be hot-tailing it out of here quicker than you can say boo!

thing is, unlike the first world out there, you cannot find out any friggin information in this town!!!! if there was a road block in london or a road closure you could google it & find out the reason why…. here a young man dies having been shot – a pretty serious state of affairs if you ask me – & well you cannot find out a single thing!!! almost a week later & still no reference to it on the internet – well except for friends on facebook & even they don’t seem to be completely sure about what happened. perhaps they can’t report on individual murders in this country because there are just too many to keep up with!

eventually after a lot of digging & piecing together it seems to be that he was involved in some sort of fight, obviously involving gun(s) & rather tragically a life has been lost & apparently the gun slinger has turned himself in.

whilst it has become quite evident that this wasn’t a typical south african crime that took place my sister (who lives abroad) then pointed out to me that in fact this too was a common & unacceptable occurence in south africa – a place where gun-toting arrogance supercedes the value of a life. thinking back to my school days i remember dating guys who carried guns. i mean what on earth is a 19 / 20 year old pumped with testosterone (& often steroids or cocaine to boot) doing carrying a gun????? i remember a neighbour of ours up the road (all of 17) bragging at school how he’d shot a black man in the back because he was on his property & a potential burglar. now everyone has their own opinions on this but who brags about it?

it’s just such a vicious circle as how do you stop people from carrying guns in a country where they feel so threatened along with this desperate need to be able to protect themselves?

whatever the story is our thoughts & prayers are with ryan lebenon’s family & friends.