Monday, September 14, 2009

Why am I coming home?

By Alex Eliseev

Despite all the terror, Alan Paterson decided to give South Africa another chance.

The decision to emigrate was taken two years ago after the Paterson family was terrorised by the notorious Razor gang.

During their attack the thugs raped Paterson's daughter, Jamie, then 17, and stabbed his wife Bronwyn, with a pair of scissors. They also broke three of her ribs, smashed her nose and tore off a piece of her ear.

So Alan Paterson, then a professor of pathology at Wits university, went to Britain to pave the way for the family to emigrate.


But gradually the family's attitude changed. The Razor gang was behind bars and the family decided they wanted to live in South Africa even though Paterson had set up a new life. Last Monday he resigned from his consulting job in Newcastle and planned to return to Joburg in early December. Four days later he received terrible news: the Razor Gang was on the run, having escaped from the Alexandra Magistrate's Court.

Like the vicious Sandton Knife Gang in 2006, the alleged leader of the gang "known as Razor" and one of his most violent accomplices were among nine men who burst to freedom last week Thursday. Four were rearrested, one surrendered and four remain at large.

After hearing the news at around 4.30pm on Friday, Paterson sat down to write a letter to President Jacob Zuma. He has vowed not to rest until he receives a response. He has not cancelled his plans to return and reunite with his family (who were due to join him in Britain), but the escape has forced him to question returning to a country in which such horror befell his loved ones.

This is his letter to the President:

Dear Mr President,

On the evening of 2nd October 2007 my family was attacked by a group of men subsequently labelled the "Razor Gang".

My wife was beaten and stabbed and my then 17-year-old daughter was raped.

My department wrote a letter to the Ministry of Safety and Security condemning the attack. A reply was sent that it was receiving the attention of the Commissioner of Police, who was promptly suspended.

We heard no more.

In the meantime the gang was caught. We endured bungled identity parades and generally indifferent performance from police and public prosecutors (not all fortunately).

We also heard of "turf warfare" between the two police stations involved. We were told the case was a priority due to be heard in the High Court, but it ends up in Alexandra Magistrate's Court! Yesterday the entire gang escaped from the court cells, you may read the details in The Star today. In addition there are details of the disrepair of the magistrate's court and general disarray within the justice system.

In the wake of our attack, I retired and decided to leave the country, planning to move my family when I was established.

A year later, after much soulsearching, my family and I decided that as proud South Africans we would rescind our decision and give the country another chance.

I resigned my post on Monday and am due to return in early December to share invaluable newly acquired skills with colleagues and students back home.

But now we come face to face with more massive incompetence.

My family are devastated and my colleagues here are asking why I want to return. This is something I must now ask myself.

I would ask that you give this your attention, Mr President. The original attack attracted considerable local and international media attention and, as we approach 2010, an issue such as this will have widespread implications in terms of the perception that South Africa cannot handle security for our own citizens let alone crowds of international football supporters.

Yours sincerely,
Alan Paterson.

26 Opinion(s):

Exzanian said...

"A year later, after much soulsearching, my family and I decided that as proud South Africans we would rescind our decision and give the country another chance"

WTF? The guy needs to have his head read by a shrink. After all that they went through?
...Maybe he should phone Zuma's hotline...

Anonymous said...

Fucking idiot

Anonymous said...

Indeed, he needs to have his head read, as we all do. We, the emigrants, have been quick to forget how utterly devastating it is to leave one's country of birth. Moreover, the trauma of leaving affects everybody to different degrees, but even the highly educated and seemingly ultra-rational of society, became dumbstruck. It is the "deer in the headlights" syndrome. It truly fucks you up. You don't know whether you are Arthur or Martha. It is very debilitating, and it impacts on your self-esteem and your relationships. I just hope he gets a grip sooner rather than later, accepts his lot and starts to rebuild his life in the UK. Otherwise he is destined to make a costly mistake.

Anonymous said...

Oh come now. He lectured at a university. How bright can he be?

It seems that the higher 'educated' you are as a South African and hide away in universities, the more dumber you are. Look he wants to come home - more likely he could not cut it in the real world.

Dumb cunt - why does he not sign the letter on the academic wall of shame. Better yet do an Amy Biehl and write the Razor gang a poem.

Dear mr razor
I did not have my tazzer
you got away
and I went astray
I went to see the queen
but she said in your dream
so now I am back
and you are still black

You banged my filly
but I am a liberal silly
I forgive and forget
and one day I will regret
so lets sit around a tree
while you piss on my degree
lets light up a pipe
while the racists take a swipe
that I am a Saffer
and you are still a kaffir.


Anonymous said...

Oh they are liberals. Look what the women said when it happened:

"Carol was brought to the cottage but then marched back to the house. Her assailant tried to force her into the bathroom, but she refused, and he raped her in the bedroom.

"I was praying for him and his forgiveness," she said.

"I told him: 'You don't need to do this. You don't know how much Jesus loves you. Jesus will forgive you'."

Jeeze - no wonder they are back. They need to get their heads out of the sand. Writing Zuma a letter - shit this happened only a year ago. They suffer from 'Black Coffee' disease.

Stay in England you numb skulls - its safer!


Bad timing, bad decision and no sense of reality. What would this guy tell himself if such a attack on his family is repeated ?

Mad Kiwi said...

Hmm, typical liberal Wits mentality, still thinking they are dealing with a government who care a shit.

I would take a flying guess the British weather and having to lower their living standards (What, no maid and gardener?!?) had more to do with the decision than "giving the country another chance".

Quark said...

Whata fool. He's pissing in the wind. How can a supposedly educated man like Dr Paterson:

(1) Think that he can reason meaningfully with these savages.

(2) Blame what happened on the Razor gang instead of the deplorable state of security in this country?

This family are victims of their own deluded thinking. No doubt they had a hard time fitting into Britain, which would have aggravated their delusional thinking. Yes, emigration is hard, but just DO IT. Don't wimp out half way through.

Anonymous said...

What a moron to put his family back into the danger zone.

Anonymous said...

Stupid, stupid little man. You may risk YOUR life but you do not have the right to put your wife and young daughter's lives at risk especially in view of the fact that your security must have been lax in the past for the attacks to have happened. You're out, suck it up and make the best of what you have.

Then again he is an academic as you guys have pointed out, not exactly infused with street smarts. The Darwin Award today goes to..

Anonymous said...

Okay, I relent, they are liberals. Perhaps Dr. Paterson is {expletive} whipped. I mean, he can't be that religious, being a scientist. Regardless, he needs to rethink. Driving a cab should be better than returning.

Anonymous said...

He's obviously lived with one foot on each continent and forgotten/forgiven what happened. Eish, he needs a good smack up the head and to grow some cahones!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Fucking idiot"

That may well be Anon. BUT by telling his story and writing directly to the President of SA, he is doing all of us a great service, just as Huntley has!

Thankyou Alan Paterson!
Common Sense

Anonymous said...

Yes, but could he copy it to the hundreds of thousands of criminals?

Anonymous said...

HA! Do you think the president gives a flop? He is thinking that this white fool must come back as he is only good for taxes.

Putting your family at risk AGAIN. What is the definition of an idiot - a liberal?

Anonymous said...

Well, his letter appears to have had some effect:
"The Razor Gang has been arrested again following a letter a professor wrote to President Jacob Zuma about the escape."

Common Sense

Anonymous said...

Common Dick do you really think that letter made a difference? Get real. Its called luck of the draw when it comes to the police.

Anonymous said...

heres a doos that had it all some of us would give an arm to get the fuck out,so stop worryong about this fuck

Anonymous said...

To the Anon who called me "Common Dick" (how eloquent), my point was simply this: those who have a voice abroad make a much bigger difference than those at home (who have no voice). So, unless you're about to start an armed revolution, let this guys desire to come home, feed the foriegn press' desire for true life stories shine some light on our situation in SA, because it's more than anyone in SA can do (short of an armed revolt)!
Fact is, his letter was made public in the press, and JZ had to quickly call the local SAPs Station to re-arrest the razor gang. Can you imagine how surprised they must have been, living their lives safe in the knowledge that the local Police Superintendent is on their payroll?

It's common sense guys, let's try to use it.

Common Sense

Anonymous said...

Well put CS. Let's use common sense. Every little bit helps.

Quark said...

If what common sense says is true, then this is a damning indictment on the ANC/police - an admission that they allow criminals to roam free and could arrest them at any time they choose.

FishEagle said...

Common Sense, I've disagreed with you in the past but on this issue I really like your comments. Well said.

Anonymous said...

You idiots. Seriously, do you have no insight into human nature? Do you have any idea what this man has been through? Are you arrogant enough to judge his actions when you have not experienced the exact circumstances that he has?

You can criticize my family's decision all you want, but you have no idea of the pain and hardship that we have been through to get to the stage we have reached. There is a hell of a lot more to it than meets the eye.

Thank you for the wonderful poem anonymous. It was so full of humanity. Let me just enlighten everyone. Do you honestly believe that my father wrote a letter to Zuma believing that he would save the day? We are hardly naive after everything we have been through. Imagine the frustration and feeling of powerlessness such an incident creates. Imagine the desperation to do something to make sure it doesn't happen to someone else. We made a decision together to make as much fuss as humanly possible about what happened to us. Not for personal glory, but because we felt we owed it to the people the gang murdered before us. One of the only ways of changing a society is through mass public opinion. To affect that, you have to go through the media. That letter was not so much an appeal to the government as it was to the population at large. We are not as stupid as you seem to think. Though, judging by the standard of some of these comments, such subtlety is clearly not appreciated.

I could rebut every single one of these ridiculous comments but I have a law degree to finish (in England but planning to return to South Africa to try and help people instead of whining.)

One more vital point: racial slurs are not relevant here. Yes, perhaps the incident at hand was racially related. I wouldn't begin to analyse the thought process of the guys who attacked us. But ultimately it comes down to what one group of human beings did to another. The Soweto church have done far more for us than any person on this site. (None of my vitriol is aimed at anyone who put forward a reasonable, considered point)

So anyway, thanks for that quick education into how people can judge a man without knowing him. Always a valuable life lesson to realise that people can just be bastards. Before you judge my father, who is one of the best men I know, stop and think.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 3:38. Yes, you are correct. On reflection there are a lot of insensitive comments. Please understand that many of our readers and contributors have endured similar horrific experiences to you, and don't have the luxury of leaving the country. So it is mystifying as to why you would want to return.

"Whining" as you put it, is a normal and healthy phenomenon, as opposed to denial. I am sure your father is a great man, and I hope he has considered his options.

I wish you luck with your choices, but please understand that everybody here is equally concerned with the state of South Africa and the safety of their loved ones.

Finally, please don't presume to have a monopoly on intelligence.

FishEagle said...

Anon 3.38. Let me just say that I am terribly sorry about the ordeal that your family endured at the hands of these criminals. None of us doubt the horror of the experience that your family had.

Please understand that most (not all) contributors and readers on this blog share the view that it's not in the interest of white South Africans to stay in the country. Not until the whole global race issue has been resolved and until there is no more white guilt that is rammed down our throats 24/7. Only then we will be able to defend ourselves against an onslaught from blacks.

We have a right to express our opinion on your father's decision to return to SA, even if you don't agree with it. And bear in mind that some of us have also experienced horrific crimes, so we have a right to be angry and afraid too.

Anonymous said...

yoo.. 10x for post :))