An HIV positive Johannesburg man has told the BBC in an interview that not only is he a serial rapist, he’s doing it in order to spread the disease.
He apparently doesn’t want to die alone.
Yeah the video is disturbing, and features people getting burned alive.
Part of the video involves asking this rapist if he was sexually abused as a child, and he said yes – by the police.
This is a man who, if we had the death penalty, it would be difficult to argue against its use.
But he is also the chilling face of how our police are failing us as a country.
He went on the BBC, with nothing to hide his identity, and proclaimed that he raped between 21 and 24 victims with the intention of spreading AIDS, and yet there he is showing his face and even sounding proud of it in a TV interview.
He does it for the same reason most bullies do what they do, because he feels it makes him ‘powerful’ and he can get away with it.
Our country has to do better than this. We can have all the marches we like, we can say that we as men must do better, we can talk, and talk, and talk about valuing women’s rights, but this is what is happening.
It cannot be left to mob justice, we need law enforcement to be strong enough that at the very least those who rape feel some fear of being caught, and we need to address what is creating these monsters.
Is it porn?
Recently African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) MP Cheryllyn Dudley said the following according to TimesLIVE after someone was caught with child porn:
“It is not just child pornography that increases the harm being done to our children. It is unfettered access to adult pornography that is making our children more vulnerable and placing them in horrendous situations.”
“Pornography use is rife in South Africa. We are in the top 20 of users in the world and number one in the world for accessing pornography via smartphones.
“At the same time‚ sexual violence in South Africa continues unabated‚ with mostly adult males abusing and violating women and children.
“Despite the volumes of research and scientific evidence showing that pornography use is a cause of sexual violence‚ government is turning a deaf ear and blind eye in terms of adult pornography and its effects on children. Seemingly the multi-billion-dollar industry has a stranglehold on us‚ which needs to be broken.”
Remember, we’re going from a period in which porn had only just been made legal, to well into big bad online era and – Dudley said unabated?
Is South Africa in the top 20 countries for porn viewing? According to Pornhub – yes.
But notice we’re not that high on the list, yet we have a much higher rate of rape than a lot of the countries ranked above us.
Of the volumes of scientific research claim – according to Psychology Today’s Michael Castleman the research points the other way.
Apparently rapists have less experience with porn, who knew?
Here’s another funny one – the Catholic News Agency reporting that porn, far from turning men into rape fiends, may be destroying the impetus for sex.
But what about the children?
Helfer Parker, the Mormon Therapist, in 2010 reported that so far as he could see the research didn’t support the idea that porn leads to pedophilia.
Meanwhile the Abel and Harlow Child Molestation Prevention Study found – 93% of America’s pedophiles described themselves as religious.
This is actually something that fits my personal experience. My father’s best friend was a born again Christian who grew up in a era when porn was illegal – and, to the shock of my father, turned out to be a pedophile.
This of course does not mean that religion causes pedophilia, as pedophiles may well turn to religion to try and fight their urges, or may be using religion to remain under the radar.
If we as a country are going to deal with our unacceptable rates of rape and child abuse, we can’t go with easy scapegoats like porn.
What is it then?
I suspect a bigger problem for us is the sheer violence of our interactions between each other, and our tendency to use violence as a means of solving disputes.
The rapist in the video feels powerful because people fear him, and he has the ability to destroy lives at any time. It makes him feel like a man.
We put too much stock in taking what we want, the man’s way being the forceful way, and that breeds habits which aren’t going to go away when what we want is sex.
To be feared is desirable – because that is how we’re accustomed to getting our way.
We need feminism in South Africa, and a feminist concept of adulthood and power, a concept where our source of pride is what we build, not in our ability to break things or people.
And it is going to take a lot of doing to achieve that, there are going to be no quick fixes. We need to be able to look at people like that rapist being interviewed by the BBC not simply with horror, but contempt.
We live in a country where that rapist is still acceptable to us – and that needs to change. We need to stop making excuses for him, and start enforcing our laws to catch those like him and make it very clear – we will not tolerate this any longer.
Mob justice isn’t working – it is time we got serious about having some real justice.
- Image by Steve McLaughlin on Flickr