This past week was rather crazy for me and one day in particular was rather special. (And in a way not so special)
It was the middle of the afternoon. I was in the yard at work grinding some metal with gloves, safety goggles and all (actually my first time so I felt real badass).
Seeing that I was using such a loud tool I could barely hear anything other than the blade of the grinder spinning. I turn and look to see my colleague rushing back inside.
‘This is weird’, I thought.
He was running faster than I have ever seen him run, and he is pretty old so that is saying much( we even call him oupa, meaning grandpa). Another one of the guys working, (let’s call him Mark) saw him run and decided to follow so I saw the two of them run in a straight line formation. Honestly I thought Mark was impersonating the old man, so I started to laugh, but their faces remained focused so I assumed they weren’t fooling around. They rush outside the shop and then I finally
see what was going on.
Two men nonchalantly walked past our rubbish bins (which mind you are extremely expensive), took one and walked off.
In the middle of the day!
The two men stopped hauling the bin and took off. Yay, so we saved the bins!
But it was not over. Not even close.
The old man stayed behind walked back to the shop but Mark kept running, he wanted to get at least one of them. Honestly I was still in the giggles, this was all still funny for me.
‘But what about Mark though?’, I asked. ‘He could run into a bunch of people that could be accomplices of the thief and gang up on him. We have to help him.’
Now the old man and I start running around in a straight line formation.
I grab the keys for the bakkie, the old man opens the gate and we rush to get in the bakkie.
‘What’s going on?’ Asked another colleague. There was no time to spare so we took off without saying a word.
We reverse out the gate and the chase continued, now it wasn’t a chase but a game of hide and seek. Seeing that it was a bakkie it was able to go straight over
the pavement and onto the gravel, a very nice shortcut. I look around trying to find Mark while the old man is making sure we get there as fast as possible.
We took a right turn in the hopes that they went the same way. Thankfully a man on the side of the road pointed in the direction the two were going.
We were going the right way, but will we get there in time and is Mark okay? We seriously went far to find them and I was amazed as to how far the chase carried on for.
Eventually we see Mark talking to a man in his car most likely about the thieves. But the thieves were nowhere to be found. Mark points to where the men ran but there was no way the car
could get through with the gate in the way.
So the chase was over.
Not on my watch I thought to myself. I have the element of surprise seeing that the thieves believe the chase is over. I walk around the gate and through some bushes to some open land where I see 5 men in the distance, one of them being a thief.
There were a line of bushes on my left so I wanted to use that to my advantage to get a closer distance to the man. I walk about 50 meters till the man turns around and unfortunately sees me. He then took off again with his friends and the chase was on again.
At that moment I started to have lots of questions.
‘Where is my team?’
‘Are those guys the thief’s friends?’
‘Does he have a weapon?’
But the worst of all:’What should I do if I actually catch this guy?’
That freaked me out. I also laughed at the same time because this is not what you would expect someone like me to be doing. If I do catch this guy I would not know what to do next. I’m not really a person of violence in any sorts, I’ve been in fights before but never thrown a punch, only defended myself. I think teasing someone is the closest to violence I have resorted to.
It’s the same question a dog needs to ask him/herself if they actually catch a car, because honestly if they do, I don’t believe they would know what to do.
But anyways, back to the chase.
It was quite a long chase and we probably sprinted for a good few hundred metres. We ran through an open piece of land, through a cemetary and up until a school.
When I reached the cemetery the thief stopped running and started to walk, I also slowed down not because I had no more energy but rather because I didn’t actually want to catch the guy, and if those guys were his friends they could’ve ganged up on me. So I was happy just to keep a safe distance.
I did walk a lot faster than the thief and when he noticed how close I got he ran again and the rest split up.
It was only him and me right now.
When the thief got close to the corner of the school’s fence our bakkie showed up.
I was shocked and pretty sure the thief wet his pants, I don’t blame him though. He did have quick reflexes though and he turned to the fence and climbed over.
Half way over Mark lunges to grab him but wasn’t quick enough, it was actually good though because the man could have lost a limb seeing that the fence was topped with spikes.
He is now in the school and this is where it got really interesting.
Mark finds an easier place to clamber the fence where there were no spikes while I get back in the bakkie and drive around to the entrance.
A security company comes with two guys in a hatchback. They get out and run into the school as well.
The old man and myself follow closely behind the security squad and we all start searching for the man in the desolate school.
It really felt like a Call of Duty mission, just there were no guns and everyone only has one life so we were also a lot more careful.
Now it was time to put my clandestine mental brain on and move as silently as possible. I kept my breathing at a slow pace with as little sound as possible.
I’m now alone in the one section and it is dead quiet. No sound, I make my way past a building into the open and I finally see the thief being dragged out the school with Mark walking closely behind.
Well now I don’t have to worry about what I will do if I catch him.
So the chase was over and one of the culprits were caught.
That was what I thought. We just have to wait for the police to show up and we will be on our way, but what I heard next broke my heart.
Mark and I sat down and chatted over what just happened and he told me when they caught him the man gave him a few hits and said a few words
I want to never repeat. The thief did not resist one bit but he received what no person deserves, no matter the crime.
At that moment I realised one thing.
This man did not fail the city, the city failed him.
But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. – Matthew 5:39.
Yes, the man stole. We also found some jewelry in his pocket that he stole, but to steal a bin and jewelry and get any form of beating is not justice. The thief’s wrongdoing revealed the true character of the security man.
If the thief went to prison for a day or a year or just a warning that is justice, but to hurt a man for someone’s own joy is sickening.
To build a greater world we need to turn the other cheek and show others that the battle can be won through love and not war.
Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my own friends. – Abraham Lincoln.
The thief was poor, probably had no job and could be in dire straights (which is no reason to steal). But if we showed him love through a
young age and built a strong community around him he would have a better chance of bringing good to our world. If I was in his shoes who knows
what I would have done.
The start of a better tomorrow starts with someone standing up to the wicked in the world and replying with love and the belief that all of us
can have joy in our hearts that is everlasting, no matter the situation.