South Africa: Where Corruption, Rape and Murder Are NormalThe unthinkable is now reality. Only in Africa?Robert Morley, The TrumpetOctober 2013I met a woman from South Africa the other day. What she saidshocked me.“Not long ago, I thought I was going to get raped and murdered by the police.”What?She was on her way home to her acreage in a farming community outside Johannesburg when she approached afour-way stop.“This intersection is known for carjackings,” she said. “No one stops. You just slow down enough to make sure youare not going to hit anyone, and keep going.“You know what happens to people who get carjacked?” she asked.I had a vague idea, I thought. But I actually didn’t have a clue.The next thing she knew, flashing lights appeared in her rearview mirror. It was the reservist police—basicallyvolunteer police officers.“There was no way I was stopping,” she said. “Even if it really was the police, who knows what they might havedone to me.” She stomped on the gas. “Up where I live, when the police try to pull you over, you just head for thenearest police station and hope you make it.”She didn’t. She was rammed off the road. “Lucky I was driving a big truck,” she said matter-of-factly. “I kept going.”She phoned to confirm that the police were real, and to let someone else know what was going on and to comeand find her. Then she pulled to a stop.And she went from being a motorist on the way home to a woman alone in a field with a bunch of armed, angrymen yelling at her and telling her she was going to jail.“Do you know what happens to white girls in jail?” she asked.Thankfully, she didn’t goto jail, and she didn’t get attacked in the field. And it was a good thing after all that shedidn’t make it to the police station either; she later learned that the one she was headed for was one of the “bad”ones.“So many of the police are thugs and criminals,” she said. “You can’t trust them. And you don’t even know if theyreally are the police. People steal police cars. They have uniforms, and even bulletproof vests. Then you see it onthe news, women brutally raped and murdered, or tortured.” Yes, by police officers.“People are raped all the time,” she said. “It is part of the culture.”The mainstream media report regularly on atrocities in Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Syria. We rarely hear about SouthAfrica. But what is happening there is deeply troubling—for a number of reasons. It also holds some powerfullessons for those of us who live elsewhere.