Sometimes you look at your problems and you just want to laugh because it seems unreal.
I said to him but barely audible. He wanted to arrest me! Imagine.
He said to me. This was not a life. I cannot keep on doing the same things all the time hoping for a better result. I was effectively now in an abusive relationship of which I was being abused emotionally. As I looked at that policeman trying to arrest me I could not believe how far I had come. I used to think that women were to be worshipped and cherished, loved and protected but I was wrong. Once upon a time women were angels but let’s face reality, with equality women became just as ruthless and opportunistic as men. I was trying to use old rules on a woman who might have grown up traditional but in a world where she is constantly told that she is stronger than men Londiwe was just acting out the way a woman is taught nowadays. Her problem is she was a dirty fighter and I kept on seeing the victim that I had found at Simon’s feet. My phone was next to Londiwe so I gave the officer my back then I clicked record. I was not going to jail, not today and I knew that I had to record our conversation in case I was forced to defend myself.
“I am calling my lawyer!”
I told him.
“You can do that at the station!”
He said sternly.
“What charge are you arresting on?”
I asked him.
“Isn’t that obvious?”
He asked sarcastically.
“No its not. You are an officer of the law; you need to state my offense before you arrest me!”
I reminded him. I was not going quietly.
“Are you happy now? Why are you so annoying? You can see your wife is lying there in bad shape because of you then you have the gall to ask what your crime is!”
“Well if that’s what you trying to arrest me for then I am afraid I can’t go with you because it’s not true!”
I told him.
“I beg your pardon?”
I think it was the last thing he had expected. He thought I would just cower and agree.
“You can’t arrest me I have done nothing wrong. She asked me if I pushed her and the answer is no. Unless she opens a charge against me if you arrest me it will be a false arrest and I will make sure that I will sue your department and you personally as I warned you!”
I told the cop defiantly. He was a young cop and I believe in South Africa whilst we all know what to sue is, very few people actually get through with it.
“Look at you, big man who beats up women, are you actually trying to threaten me?”
He asked me defensively but in a mocking tone.
“Yes I am and you can put it on the record that. You tried to arrest me when there was no statement, no complaint nothing! That sir is an abuse of your power!”
I told him and I was not done,
“I am not the common criminal you chase down the road and arrest because he can barely defend himself with the law. I am different. I am educated and I know my rights word by word not just as a statement! You are in a private hospital right now because I paid for it meaning I can pay for lawyers that can destroy you.”
I threatened him further. I was so annoyed not by him but by Londiwe. How dare she had said that I pushed her? As far as I remembered facts she is the one who had fallen.
“We also have legal representation so I am not scared of you!”
The cop said but he was not as convincing anymore.
“Go home or to your duties sir! I am staying here with my wife who needs me. Did you even consider that because she hit her head she could just be disorientated before you came in here looking for excuses to arrest me?”
I ask him and he look bewildered. I think he was asking me why I was not scared of him. The problem with South African police is that they favour arresting people who cannot defend themselves. The clever blacks are different because they can challenge them with the very law they think they are protecting.
“Yeah I will leave but let me tell you something about me, there is nothing I hate more than men who beat up women. I am a police man and I don’t want my job to be made up of chasing scumbags like you. I want real criminals and you people waste our time. If she lays charges I am going to arrest you personally and I will make sure I will put you in cell with someone I pay to rape you every night! I need you to understand this; I will pay for it personally just to make sure that you and your high and mighty self can be humbled!”
He said and he walked out. I stopped recording. It’s not ok for men to abuse women but its ok for men to abuse each other or for women to abuse men? That’s what the system teaches us. Left alone with Londiwe I looked at this woman and wondered how I had managed to create this monster. This was just crazy.
I called Nonjabulo.
“Your sister in hospital.”
I told her.
“What did you do to her?”
She asked me. She did not even sound concerned. It felt more like a matter of fact.
“I did nothing to her. She fell and hit her head.”
I explained to her.
“Vusi, you promised that you would never do what Simon did to my sister! Why do you guys keep on using her like a punching bag like this?”
She asked me. I had every intention to hang up but again I found myself explaining.
“You know me too well to know that I will never scoop so low. Go see your sister please! I will text you the address of the hospital!”
I told her as I hung up the phone. At least now the one thing I wanted to do I was about to do and that is to sleep. I got to the hotel but as I walked past reception the lady behind the desk called me. I was too tired for this.
I said politely to her making that fake smile white people give us when they see you in Spur.
“Sir your things are in the security office you cannot sleep here tonight!”
The receptionist said.
“I don’t understand, what have I done?”
I asked her annoyed already.
“You beat up a woman that’s what. Are you not even ashamed of yourself?”
She asked me. The way she looked at me I promise was like I was the most disgusting person.
“Why would I hit my pregnant wife though? Why?”
I asked her that annoyment turning into anger but I had to calm myself down quickly because any emotion I showed could be used against me.
“If I was not working right now I would have come around from this desk and beaten you up myself. You are despicable!”
She said to me,
“Security please escort this man out!”
She said calling the security that sat by the door. I wanted to argue but I really had no energy for it.
“Is this the man from the afternoon?”
The security guard asked her.
She responded and looked away.
“Can I settle my bill please? I don’t want to walk out and then the next thing to your false accusation you add theft!”
I asked her.
“No you don’t have to. We are kicking you out so we terminated the contract we had with you. Please leave now you are a disgusting person!”
She said. I was actually in more trouble than I thought. Londiwe had not spoken to this receptionist yet the perspective she had was that indeed I had beaten her up. She was not there when it happened but still she had concluded. I was in trouble because if Londiwe opened a case then definitely she would have so many witnessed on her side.
“I am leaving. I am sorry I left here without clearing my name but I don’t beat up women. I despise that too very much!”
I said to her. I had to, I was not being soapie. I had to put some doubt in her somehow. I went and checking into another hotel and slept. I woke up late to my phone ringing.
It was Londiwe but I ignored it. Instead I called the lawyer that my mother had given me and told him my latest drama.
“When you speak to her, get her to admit that it was an accident. You need to record that conversation and whatever she will throw at you in future about this incident you will be able to use it against her!”
“I will get an App for that and will call her then!”
I told him.
“No don’t call her, let her call you because if she does she will be at ease and it will make your task much easier!”
I know Londiwe very well, if you miss one of her calls expect ten more soon after. I got the app that I wanted which allows you to call and record phone calls then I waited for her. She called.
“Please come and see me!”
She asked me politely.
“No! I don’t want to. Yesterday you accused me of pushing you down the stairs. It was not even true and now you want me to come and see you! Why do you keep doing these things though?”
I asked her.
“I don’t want to talk about yesterday. I want us to fix things. That’s why I came to the hotel. Please come I am still the mother of your unborn child. Don’t leave me here alone!”
“Londiwe you and I are done. There is no going back now no matter what happens.”
I told her in no uncertain terms. There was an incoming call and it was from a number I did not know.
“I have an incoming call Londiwe is there anything else you want? No actually no, don’t say anything. You and I are done. I will pay for all the medical bills but we will not interact!”
I told her. I was going to go the police station to get a restraining order against her. She was dangerous.
“Vusi please no, don’t do th..”
I hung up the phone as she pleaded. I immediately blocked her number because I did not want her to keep calling. The unknown number that had called when I was on the phone called again. This time I picked up.
“Vusi, its Mandla, Malunga!”
It took a second to recognize the name then it clicked,
It was Naledi’s father and my mother powerful colleague!
“Come to the house now! It’s important!”
He said and he hung up the phone. He sounded angry actually I am not sure!
Had Naledi said something?
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto
Thank you for reading my letter.
I am 31 and am married to a man who is 34. We have two kids together and for the most part we have an ok relationship. We both work and contribute to the house. The problem is that my husband is a liar. He lies about everything even small things that are not necessary to be lied about. When I ask him why he says it’s to avoid fights then guess what it does, I get annoyed and we end up fighting. Two weeks ago there was no soccer on TV and he lied saying that he is going to watch soccer at his friends place because the guys would be there. The friend he said he was going see came to the house looking for him. My mother called afterwards saying that he spent the afternoon with them. Is that not creepy. Why would he lie and why would he just go visit my family without telling me? When I asked why he did not tell me he was going to them he said he felt it was not important for me to know and even got angry that I asked him! What should I do guys? This man even lies at church to anyone who will listen. He can’t say a straight story ever! I am even ashamed of him now because people have started to notice. The fighting is killing us and now our kids have started to lie too and again guess what, he gets angry when then lie!
Help me please!