Thursday, July 15, 2010

He paid the hit men not to shoot him

Paying hitmen who have been sent to eliminate you, to spare your life, sounds like something out of a Hollywood flick but the story became closer to reality when it was related to me yesterday evening. What was a routine trip to the shop down the road proved to be an eye opener as to how clueless we sometimes are about the goings-on around us. It all began when I overheard a middle aged woman walking with her son of about eight, say that a trench coat clad passerby scared the living daylights out of her. I could not help laughing out loud and asking how she expected men not to wear these coats given the bitterly cold weather.

That is when she elaborated that she associates long coats with those of four armed gun men who recently broke into her home. She recounted that this happened on the 12th of June, the day that Bafana Bafana played their first World Cup match. These men gained entry through a broken window and confessed they had been hired by a friend of the family. They also revealed that this so called friend is one of the four friends that had been present at the house ealier in the day to watch the Bafana Bafana match with the family. They did not specify which friend it was. The narrator says her husband had to beg the hitmen not to kill him and he surrendered R10 000 that was in the house, R3000 more in the car, as well as his vehicle's navigator. It was only after those payments that they agreed to let her husband live and promised to report that they did not find him at home.

I know that the more sceptical reader will question the authenticity of this story. I also feel that there is a lot that the lady did not mention. When I asked if she does not fear a second attempt on her husband's life or the whole family for that matter, she said that she did, hence they were about to relocate. As I made my way back home, I pondered over the story and got a sense that she was not totally truthful about the reason why these men had come and who had sent them. For her family to be still around over a month later, it meant that whatever wrong had been committed against the man who hired the assassins, it had since been resolved. If her husband really had ten thousand rand lying around in the house and more cash in the car, it raises a question about his sources of income and why he would have such an amount lying around in his house and not in the bank. In the Goldfields region, one common source of shady income is the illegal mining, buying and selling of gold. I wondered if this was a possibility or if I was jumping to wrong conclusions.

Even if our suspicions are correct, at that moment nothing could take away the chill in my spine. This came from the realisation that even in what is considered a safe neighbourhood in a relatively quiet town, the dark, shady underworld is up and running behind closed doors. Day in and day out, we envy our neighbours and even total strangers for the cars that they drive, the mansions that they live in and the cash that they seem to be awash in. We often get so absorbed in these fantasies that we forget that beneath all those trappings of wealth, might be an individual wishing that they has less money, less problems. For all you know that mogul could be suffering sleepless nights avoiding law enforcers, enemies (including hitmen), creditors and a host of people who all want a piece of his scalp. It is true that we must be careful what we wish for, we might just get more than what we have bargained for!


  1. Very interesting story and a good reminder of how the grass is not always greener.


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