A client asked me the other day what did the new South Africa bring for me? I was sorely tempted to explain that corruption was not nearly as bad as now. Hence it brought a lot of corruption and with it the detestable newly rich & infamous.
I suppose we could have talked about our once proud Army, which is now a joke to international observers, but in all honesty I don't mind that. A weak Army also means no coup d'état's so I am secretly convinced that it is part of the government's attempts to keep power. Clever thinking indeed, or is it just plain old incompetence as everyone else says? As a former member of the South African Police I don't care that much about the Army anyway....the Navy and Air Force? Nah, will not even mention them here - I mean do they still exist? Last time I checked we had grounded a submarine and had almost no pilots left. Our fancy new fighter jets are in storage, except for a few to fly ceremonial duties now and then to show the world what? I don't know.
So what did the new South Africa bring to me? Well, a lot actually. The security industry is booming and will keep on booming for many decades to come. That is good news for the former-members who got fed-up and decided to leave the services. Many are making serious money and good for them too.
Then there are the potholes when you leave the national highways and the road sort of disappears. That made me buy a Nissan Sani 4wd when I still could afford the petrol price. No doubt I will do so again in the future and some poor client will pay for the petrol for my prices will just go up as I have noted the clever lads of the grocery stores & petrol stations do week for week. Yep, should have thought of this before. No need to struggle lads - just increase your fees and try your customer's patience.
What else? Well the yellow reflector tape behind trucks is an excellent idea. It has certainly saved me a few times where they have had no rear lights. Naturally the traffic police only concentrate on the ones exceeding the speed limits, for reasons I cannot publish for fear of being sued. It brings in a lot of revenue for cities and sometimes for themselves. Tax free also in the last instance...but fair enough, you must support private initiatives or so we are told by the long haired liberals.
I also noted that despite all the bitter complaints against the new South Africa from the older generation, that their pensions and medical aids are paid every month. Now let us be clear on this, it is not something which usually happens where a former terrorist organisation (from my view at the time) take over.
Then we have a very nice and legally progressive human rights bill, which is working despite the constant complaints. Anyone who has read any of my books will know of my sceptical views on human rights in general and especially when it is taken so far that the community loses respect for the police and courts, and you have violent vigilante actions. Reminds me of a song by that guy with the deep voice - Leonard Cohen "The Captain..."
"And I've read the Bill of Human Rights
And some of it was true
But there wasn't any burden left
So I'm laying it on you."
But I have to admit; thus far we are not in camps of re-education. We do live in self-imposed prisons in our houses (if you have one) though.
On the constant complaining about the SA Police Services - I don't agree they are that bad, having seen other African Police Forces first hand. I have to ask, as I did in my Mean Streets book, why are the jails so overcrowded and the criminal courts so far behind on caseloads? This does not indicate such a pathetic police service at all, but we do have the bad apples. They are dealt with, for we read about it in the newspapers all the time. Hence, I will not join this constant moaning & groaning & jumping to conclusions every time we heard of a murder. Who else must we go to anyway?
We had the Australian invasion for our newly acquired 4wd vehicles (potholes you know) with every conceivable add-on at vast expense and pointless too. I have to wonder since when the rugged outdoors man became such a wanker that he needs to tow a caravan into the veldt? Or must replace a nice working suspension with the Aussie product? Well fair enough, they got many of our right wingers who are still complaining from far away...why I would not know, for once you have emigrated you lose your right to b-tch at every forum.
We have no less than nine parliaments now, to be better exposed to the shenanigans of long haired liberals. Excellent job creations scam that one, for I have no real clue what good they do there except waste tax money. I also read one member thought she would be elected (and she was for many years) because she has nice blue eyes. Fair enough, you get the long haired liberals you deserve.
Even better, we can freely listen to rubbish known as rap and it seems every second pretty girl has decided she is the next Juanita and so we are bombarded with mediocre (almost as bad as my efforts as an author) voices. In the old days oom Ge and oom Bles were good enough with that rooi-skoen fellow for the liberals amongst us. Now we have such a wide variety to be grateful for.
Ah and then the McDonalds burger chains, which we only saw in the movies then and now at every second corner and in every single mall in existence. We subsequently learned that the Greek or Portuguese oom at the corner cafe actually made much better (sure as hell bigger) burgers, though my late wife may have called me on that one. Well I know she would have on the McDonalds French fries which she loved to eat at breakfast of all times. "Us colonials don't do such things Honey but let me join you then."
And let us not forget the right to be humiliated by the All Blacks every time we play against them in a rugby match. Or the strange names our proud teams now have for reasons I don't get, but may have to do with the god of mammon. At least I don't need to bother to even watch anymore - it is not the same and I know who will win next year's cup anyway.
Lastly, we are particularly blessed with all the Nigerian drug dealers who are to be found in our cities. That is very nice for us working in Nigeria where our skills are highly valued and I, for one, felt very welcome. They exported their criminal element to us and overtook our economy in 2012.
So the answer to the question? I get to complain online without fear of the Security Branch arresting me in the middle of the night. And that my friend is called FREEDOM.
Koos Kotze is a former member of the South African Police Force. He served between 1985 and 1991 primarily as a sergeant in the Pretoria Flying Squad. After leaving the Police Force he obtained the law degrees B Iuris & LLB at the University of the Free State (Bloemfontein, South Africa) and was a practicing commercial law attorney for eight years. He also wrote several books on business, law, counter terrorism and security issues. He is a widower and lives in Bloemfontein, South Africa.