The first thing that came to my mind was the gun. Goodness I should never have carried that gun. See, this is what happens when you help people. You end up getting into trouble for things that you did not do. How was I going to explain it this time? I was so scared. The police are scary. The police are not nice people. It’s not a secret. It’s not something people make up. It’s like the moment they become police they lose something in them. They lose their humanity. I don’t like them and yes I appreciate when they help me but I don’t want them as friends. There is something cold, crude, abrupt and miserable about them. It’s not a nice job to be honest because you have to be a hardened person to carry out your duties otherwise you will not survive it. One of the cops stepped up and gripped me by the shoulder.
“You are hurting me!”
I screamed in English. His grip on me was so strong I thought my arm would break. When I react on instinct my thought process is in English and African officers hate that, a lot!
“Relax madam we just doing our job!”
The other officer who had been quiet up till this point said calmly. Well it’s not him who this vice grip was laid on.
“Officer are you sure you got the right person because there is no way I could be guilty of a crime, I mean look at me, who could I possibly rob?”
I pleaded. Yeah I know I said that but you would expect a criminal to have a certain look and well I did not have that look.
“Well from all I know is that a warrant for your arrest was issued and that you have been accused of stealing something from a company called ZXX Chemical Laboratories. Do you know who that is?”
“Yes I do know who they are. I used to work there and I resigned last week!”
I said. Crap, I should have known the white people would play dirty. I should have known. Even as he mentioned their name I knew exactly who to call. It was not about the gun after all but I had it in mind to give those two fools a piece of my mind. That thing was bad luck.
“Can I at least take my phone? It’s over there on the charger. You can come with me. I would like to call my lawyer and my sister who is waiting at the hospital for me!”
“No that’s not my problem!”
The police man with the vice grip said but his partner cautioned him and said I should take my phone because how else would I know my lawyers number by head.
He said. This is why people say they don’t like police. They can have a hard heart at times even when it’s not necessary to do so.
“So did they say what I did with what I am supposed to have stolen?”
I asked him because now I was thinking of how to get out of this.
“That’s not our problem. A charge was laid, we make the arrest. That’s it!”
The cranky police man said to me.
“What station are you taking me to?”
I asked him.
“Boksburg Police Station”
My heart sank. I can tell you this right now, even if I had never been to prison, you will rather be taken to Hillbrow than Boksburg. The stories I have heard about that place are not pleasant. When have you ever heard a good story on the news coming from the East Rand? Name just one story? I know hey, East Rand has a life of its own and the people there are, well, different! They have white people gangsters and all white bouncers are from there! It’s a rough place and I never go there for some reason.
“Boksburg? I don’t even live in Boksburg and the company is not based in Boksburg so why am I being taken there?”
I complained very surprised by this.
“The case was opened there and the warrant is being carried out from there! You are starting to be annoying now!”
The cranky police man said but again the other one came to my rescue.
“Madam call your lawyer and whoever you want to call now because there you will get one phone call only. There is a long line and you will struggle!”
He was being nice. I wonder why. Maybe he wanted money later I don’t know because he was a sharp contrast to his partner. I called Nthabiseng and guess what, her phone was off. It went to voicemail.
“I have been arrested. They are taking me to Boksburg Police Station. The charge was made by my former coming. Please come get me I am scared!”
I told her as they led me out of the house. I was so glad no one was there to see. Even Mbuso’s van was not there. I would have been so humiliated. Now what? The back of a police van is not nice people. It is cold hard and lonely and the police make sure they hit every pothole on the way there just to make your journey there more uncomfortable. By the time I got to the station I had fallen over enough times. At least I was alone. I was still wearing yesterdays clothes even, eish. I managed to call my sister and she picked up.
“I am waiting for the details. Have you spoken to the medical aid?”
She said still cranky.
“I have been arrested. They are taking me to the station now, Boksburg Police Station. I am in the back of the van!”
I told her and her first response was,
“If you really did not want to do this for mom you should just have said instead of making up such ridiculous lies!”
She said and she hung up. I wanted to scream at the phone but realistically I would not believe me too. Come on, this was crazy. I called her again in tears and she did not pick up. I called the last person I ever thought I could call, Simba. I had told me of my resigning when we went out. He picked up.
“Good morning how is the hangover?”
He asked me cheerfully. Hangover? Oh yes from our outing yesterday, that hangover?
“Simba listen, I have been arrested. My company accused me of stealing something I don’t even know what yet. They are taking me to Boksburg Police Station right now as we speak. Please I am scared, help me!”
Have you ever noticed how asking for help can humble you. He was stunned.
“Tell me you joking right!”
“This is not a joke Simba I am too old to prank call. Please, I need your help. I tried my lawyer but her phone is off so am forwarding you her contact. Please get a hold of her for me.”
I pleaded with him. My hands were shaking and I could not even hold the phone in place on my ear.
“I will do so. I am making my way there. It’s about 20 minutes from here!”
He said and I could hear him in the background standing up from whatever it is he was doing.
“Thank you! Thank you so much!”
I said crying now. My emotions were getting the better of me. I sent my sister the details of my arrest because I know she did not believe me. I sat there at the back in silence and I remembered that I should send Mbuso a message. He had said he was going to come see me and because my car was parked there he would think I was in the flat.
“I am in trouble. Lots of trouble. They have arrested me saying I stole something at work. It’s not true. I am sorry for this. Lungile”
I don’t know why I put my name in the text but you know when you text someone as opposed to sending a message via whatsapp it sound more official and serious, well that’s why I guess. I also cannot explain why I said I am sorry but I did. The van then stopped, Boksburg! That brown old building! Yah neh!
“We are here! Whoever put you here hates you because you will wish you never came here!”
The mean cop said. He really did not like me and I am not sure why. I had somehow rubbed him the wrong way because he seemed pissed off.
“I did not do anything wrong though!”
“That’s what they all say but it makes no difference. Today you are our guest and because it’s Sunday, you can’t get go anywhere until tomorrow. I wonder how it will feel being from the suburbs to sleep here!”
He says with a sneer. Was this what this was about? Because I lived in the suburbs I had to be punished more?
“Excuse me officer! I am here to see someone who has been arrested!”
I heard Simba’s voice in the background.
“Uwubani ke wena!” (Who are you?)
Crap it was the mean cop, why couldn’t it be the other one. I was so relieved though because he had come. He had kept his word. There was a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
“I don’t speak Zulu Sir, I am her friend and she called for me to bring a lawyer!”
He spoke authoritively in English and the cop replied,
“Asifuni makwerekwere la! Ufunani?”
The mean cop asked him. I was stunned. With all the xenophobic violence going on right now for a man in uniform to say that.
They are part of the problem it’s not just Rossetenville!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Hi bhut Mike, yazi nginenkinga la, i have a 5 year old relationship boyfriend who paid lobola for me on the 07th of January and also proposed we have been through a lot naye but there is no happiness. I decided to accept his proposal because of the history we have, pressure from our families and the fact that am old now and i had to settle,, but am not happy anymore! He is very emotionally abusive when we fight he calls me names, telling me that am a slut and so on. he now doesn’t satisfies me in bed like he used to, he is no longer romantic at all like before. he supports me financially, but we don’t see eye to eye lately, he doesn’t comes up with solution whenever there is a problem its always has to be me, kuningi nje. He is not socializing with people, its been 2 years yenzeka lento and i tried several times to tell him in a polite way and in fighting how i feel about this but he ignores it. And now there is another situation, there is this guy, it is almost a month now since we got together, he is everything i ever dreamt for, we have so much connection between us we talk, he listens, we understand each other, we have same goals, he is everything nje ngingabala kuze kuse of which the main guy akakwenzi konke okwenziwa ilo omusha, and naye una same situation he paid lobola for his baby mama and naye banamaproblems uma echaza but i dont wana go to details about their relationship cos i dont know the side of his baby moma, and now this guy seems to be so serious about this relationship of ours he is even willing to start a new life with me, now am confused which way to go, i know its too early but this guy if am with him wenza ama wololo, i never felt this way before i think he is my soul mate. What can u advice me with please help