I was not going to spend Christmas in jail and for a gun that was not even mine. I was carrying it back to Jhb for
someone where in all honesty had it remained in Nelspruit I am more than certain that someone would have died. That’s why Bongani had given it to me. With all the crime in SA however I don’t blame the police for getting into aggressive mode that fast. We are the one country that much as we criticize the police, without them the criminals would take over. We have so many police and still our crime is so high it makes it seem like there are no police at all. That’s the tragic reality of it all. Even now, with this officer pointing his gun at me I knew that he was only doing his job but please, don’t shoot me.
The overzealous police man screamed as I tried to reach down for it to hand it to him. It made sense I give it to him to show that I was not a threat at all.
“Don’t shoot me, don’t shoot me!”
I screamed back immediately putting both hands out of the car to show I was no threat. We had obviously drawn a lot of attention and a lot of people say that South African police are slow but it’s not true. The difference is however they are fast when they want to be.
“Get out, get out and lie on the ground!”
He screamed at the top of his voice. I did just that. What a shitty day this was turning out to be. I was already surrounded meaning I had to watch my every move. Someone jumped on my back and the next thing I was in handcuffs. To my credit I did not cry. I knew my story and I had not done anything wrong.
“Everyone calm down its ok!”
One of the officers said shouted loudly trying to calm the onlookers. Remember this was an active roadblock so they were quite a number of people around all staring at this criminal lady being led away.
“Please take my bag so that no one steals from it!”
I asked one of the officers. I was taken to one of the vans that were there and already the person who was in charge was on me. It was a white officer he did not even introduce himself. Of all the rotten luck in the world I had to get a white officer! Fuck! There is a myth perpetuated by black people especially that white police officers are not corrupt, emphasis on the myth. What if he wanted a bribe what could I possibly give him considering his people already had all the land? I felt doomed.
“Madam, where did you get that gun?”
He asked me as soon as he sat down. The gun came in next to him in an evidence bag. That was fast.
“It’s all a misunderstanding sir.”
I started to explain but he got a call and he took it. I looked around me and I was really in trouble. With commotion I had caused all eyes were on the van I was in and I could see it through the window.
“No I said we are not buying any more things for your family! Come on now. I am tired of this. We still need money for school fees and other things!
He said frustrated and annoyed on his phone. I think it was his wife because I have see from male colleagues black or white, when they talk to their wives they never look happy. I knew that look.
“I swear you would think that this was the last Christmas in the world the way she has been shopping! All of a sudden she is buying those hand wipes, those wet ones you know the ones you get in a restaurant and for what?”
He said angrily confiding in me. This was awkward but I knew I had to be nice. There is a time to be humble and black aka speak vernacular and a time where you show that you are educated and not some other push over. This was not a police man at the station but one who had caught me with a gun. I had to bring out the twang.
“You have to be careful because you will end up in debt review by January!”
I said trying to be humorous.
“Yeah I know and that’s what she doesn’t understand. I have a daughter in matric and she is going to need money too yet to my wife she sees something totally different.”
“So tell me again what were you doing with the gun?”
He asked me. This time I explained the whole story and he listened attentively.
“Ok we can clear this up easy enough. Call him and ask him to send you the license number, his identity number plus the serial number of the gun! If he does that you are free to go!”
He said pleasantly. I crossed my fingers as I dialled not him but Miriam. Thank. The lord she picked.
“Have you arrived already?”
She asked me pleasantly.
“Please put Bongani on the phone I am in trouble. Please do it now!”
I asked her. She did not ask any more questions but I heard her ask Bongani to take the phone.
“What is it?”
He asked her.
“It’s Lungi; she says she is in trouble!”
She told him as she handed the phone to him.
“Lungi what’s wrong!”
“I have been arrested at a roadblock. They found your gun in my car. Please speak to the officer there are some thing they need from you as verification!”
I told him. I handed the phone to the police man. They spoke in Afrikaans and the next thing the officer stood up and said,
“You are free to go. The misunderstanding has been cleared!”
He said. I was not going to wait. I stood up and I left. I was not even going to question why the license had not been sent in the first place or any of the things he had initially asked for. When you get a get out of jail free card wisdom says you take it and don’t look back. Heroes die young.
.”Miss Mbatha, you going with the gun. It must not stay here!”
He said after me. Crap why couldn’t they just take it though. I drove off immediately and because I was quite shaken I literally drove 100km all the way home. It gave me a chance to think and I must admit that this amount of bad luck was not healthy and was the type that could get you killed. It was either time to go see my aunt and fix all this mess or go to see my mother’s pastor. I needed to fix me. I had reached that point where I knew that all this happening to me was not right and was dangerous.
My phone rang as these thoughts went through my head. It was Sfiso.
“Are you ok? Bongani told me that you had a bit of a problem with the police!”
He asked me.
“A problem he created. I could have been arrested Sfiso and spent Christmas in jail”
I said so annoyed.
“I know. It was very irresponsible of him to give you that gun but from the way you are speaking I can tell you on the road and are safe!”
“Safe for now! What if I bump into another roadblock! I have it in mind to just throw this gun out into the veld!”
I said angrily.
“Did you just say veld?”
He asked me.
I did not get it.
“Goodness you must have been a geek at school!”
He said and he burst out laughing. I don’t know why but I laughed too.
“Ok fine sorry!”
“No don’t apologize; you speak English like you are a text book that’s all!”
He said laughing some more. Ouch! That was my first thought but he was right.
“Anyway I have to go. There are a lot of people here still!”
He said. Before I could ask him how he was holding up he hung up. Eish! I am a bad friend. You know when you talk on the phone you are not 100% concentrating on the road. I don’t know where I had off ramped and it must have been subconscious. I was not lost, I knew where I was. I had not gone home to get rid of the gun after all. I stood outside her house and stepped out of the car. Remember I had said my mum or aunts!
“I knew you were on your way. Thank God! I saw that something tried to prevent you from getting here.”
She said standing in the door way with her arms crossed across her chest.
“How did you know I was coming?”
I asked her surprised.
“You forget who we are. You and I are the same person ad you coming here is a sign that you are starting to accept that!”
She said with a serious look on her face. I knew I had come to the right place.
I said as I walked towards her tears in my eyes.
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto
Thank you for the wonderful work that you are doing. Your talent is real.
I am a 26 year old girl, a single mother to a beautiful 3 year old baby girl. My life has been that one of Lungi on YES, I have had a series of bad relationships I can’t seem to get any relationship right I always attract the committed ones just like Lungi. Here is my story last year around September I dated this guy from my neighbourhood and God he is perfect in everything except for one thing he is committed to someone. In December he broke up with his girlfriend saying he wants to be with me but 3 days later he went back to her saying he feels guilty coz she did nothing wrong to her and he still says he loves me and still wants to be with me. What I wanna know from the readers is should I continue with this relationship because the guy is perfect, treats me like a queen and my parents adore him or should I just cut losses and leave him while it’s still early.
Sorry for the long essays guys