This picture looks like a scene from the dark days of the apartheid era, but sadly it's not. This was taken yesterday right here in the Helderberg Basin as some squatters were evicted from private land.

The tragedy is that the private land is owned by SANRAL (South African National Roads Agency Limited) which is in fact a govt owned public company) and so the govt and law enforcement agencies refuse to get involved hiding behind civil law and neglecting their duties. 

The cycnic in me also wonders why these evictions didn't take place before the recent elections, but that's a whole other debate.

I understand the arguments for and against the squatters and their eviction, after all I'm just as much a NIMBY as you are. Yes I'm appalled by the images but if this had been next door to me I'd have been happy to see the evictions taking place. And therein lies a big problem.

To what extent do I really love my neighbour as myself?

Where my neighbour is respectable it's easy to love them. When my neighbour was down and out and in need of my love where was I?  I don't have easy answers to these questions, just as I know you don't either. However I do feel very ashamed that here in our democratic South Africa we've just witnessed some events that wouldn't have been out of place in the apartheid era.


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