When Does A Number Become A Statistic?

As many know, I used to live and work in South Africa. That nation has a population of some 49 million people, and, compared to Great Britain, has approximately the same ratio of majority to minority people. In Great Britain, with some 62 millions, there are some 90% European stock, with 10% minority, of a dazzling range of ethnic and nationalities present. In South Africa, there is a direct reversal, with some 85% Black people with some seven tribal origins, Europeans including Afrikaans- and English-speaking people being 9% of the total remaining. The total population of South Africa, as extrapolated from the last census, is around 50 mlliion, as opposed to the 62 million of Great Britain.

In Great Britain, there have been 38 Farm and Agricultural workers killed on their farms and workplaces. All these deaths have been recorded and investigated by the Health & Safety Executive, and all deaths have been judged to have been accidental, some however also avoidable.

In South Africa, however, there have been 3,115 farmers and family members murdered in the past ten years. Strange how some statistics don’t get the same publicity as others!

Cry indeed, the Beloved Country!


You call a bathing suit a “swimming costume”
You call a traffic light a “robot”
The employees dance in front of the building to show how unhappy they are
The SABC advertises and shows highlights of the program you just finished watching
You get cold easily. Anything below 16 degrees Celsius is Arctic weather
You know what Rooibos Tea is, even if you’ve never had any .
You can sing your national anthem in four languages, and you have no idea what it means in any of them
You know someone who knows someone who has met Nelson Madela
You go to “braais” regularly, where you eat boerewors and swim, sometimes simultaneously
You know that there’s nothing to do in the Free State
You produce a R100 note instead of your driver’s licence when stopped by a traffic officer
You can do your monthly shopping on the pavement
You have to hire a security guard whenever you park your car
You can count the national soccer team’s scores with no fingers
To get free electricity you have to pay a connection fee of R750
Hijacking cars is a profession
The national soccer team’s coach gets paid more than the mnister of finance
You can pay your tuition fees by holding up a sign at a traffic light
The petrol in your tank may be worth more than your car
More people vote in a local reality TV show than in a local election
People have the most wonderful names: Christmas, Goodwill, Pretty, Wednesday, Blessing, Brilliant, Gift, Precious, Innocence and Given
“Now now” can mean anything from a minute to a month
You continue to wait after a traffic light has turned to green to make way for taxis travelling in the opposite direction
Travelling at 120 km/h you’re the slowest vehicle on the highway
You’re genuinely and pleasantly surprised whenever you find your car parked where you left it
A bullet train is being introduced, but we can’t fix potholes
The last time you visited the coast you paid more in speeding fines and toll fees than you did for the entire holiday
You paint your car’s registration on the roof
You have to take your own linen with you if you are admitted to a government hospital
You have to prove that you don’t need a loan to get one
Prisoners go on strike
Prisoners get to vote
You don’t stop at a red traffic light, in case somebody hijacks your car
You have to budget for 2 muggings in your monthly budget
Rwandan refugees start leaving the country because the crime rate is too high
When 2 Afrikaans TV programmes are separated by a Xhosa announcement of the following Afrikaans program, and a an advert in zulu
The police advise you not to stop if they wave you down in the middle of the night but rather speed past them and drive to your nearest police station.
A minibus taxi overtakes you, just to stop right in front of you.
Votes have to be recounted until the right party wins.
A shop clerk makes you feel as if he/she is doing you a favour by letting you buy from their shop.
The police ask you if they should follow up on the burglary you’ve just reported.
A 45 year old engineer is replaced by a 25 year old who cannot write his own name.
20% of the city pays for everyone elses electricity and water supply.
A murderer gets a 2 year sentence, and a pirate TV viewer a 6 month sentence.
Crime actually DOES pay.
The Minister of Housing didn’t build a single house.
The Minister-without-Portfolio makes more noise than all the portfolios put together, and then, when he’s given a portfolio, you never hear from him again.
The Minister of Tourism is the same person who said “One Settler, One Bullet”.
Police stations hire Armed Response Units
Police stations get robbed
You go to a New Year street party in Hillbrow and wake up in hospital.
The Constitutional Court declares the death sentence unconstitutional, but rules that abortion is okay.
A government Minister is caught driving her car with a forged license, but the case is dropped for “lack of evidence”.
A minister of religion who stole millions from overseas-donated funds for the oppressed, returns to the country to a hero’s welcome and is officially welcomed by the government, represented by the Minister of Justice.
Scholars protest at the lack of schooling facilities by destroying school buildings and burning school books.
The entire country sees a thug admit on TV news to murdering several people, but the police say they have no case.
Landlords may not evict illegal squatters unless they offer them alternative accommodation.

ah! what a country!