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South African Crisis of Violent Rape and Murder

What is the cause of the unbelievable levels of violence in South Africa – specially in terms of rape and murder – what men do to women and children in our country? Our society and the public media, including the government, is debating what’s behind this, trying to isolate the cause of this pandemic of violence. What are your comments?

17 year old Anene Booysen’s recent savage gang rape, disembowelment and murder, hit the international headlines – similar to the gang rape of the young woman on a bus in New Delhi, India. The hardened policemen who attended to the grissly scene of Anene’s murder were so traumatised that they needed counselling therapy. Since then, more brutal gang rapes and murders have been reported in SA. What rage drives men in SA to do these demonic acts of evil?

Another SA tragedy made world headlines this weekend: the alleged murder of beautiful Reeva Steenkamp by her lover, the internationally celebrated para-olympian Oscar Pistorious. Shock and horror! Disbelief! Everyone is asking, “WHY?” An insightful report from journalist David O’Sullivan points to alleged patterns of anger outbursts, see Why this alleged brutal murder by such a successful man – a celebrity with the world at his feet?

Our ANC government says rape and violence is a serious social problem. Their answer is: men must be educated to respect women and children, to treat them properly. Many people are saying many things, trying to make sense of this orgy of rage, offering all sorts of explanations and solutions – from stricter gun control to castration for perpetrators of rape.

Will that address this social crisis? Superficial diagnosis leads to superficial solutions, radical diagnosis cuts to the root of the problem, leading to radical healing and long-lasting solutions.

2000 years ago a young Jewish rabbi, Jesus of Nazareth, gave an incisive diagnosis to this particular issue, and to the human condition in general. He taught that anger, if not resolved, leads to contempt and even hatred, which in turn results in rage, violence and murder (see Matthew 5:21-26). In his teachings on being human – on living life as God’s image bearers – Jesus FIRST addresses the issue of anger and forgiveness (reconciliation), in his ‘Sermon on the Mount’. It’s THE foremost issue in human relationships – in personal morality and social reality. Just think of it: if all the unresolved anger were taken out of human relationships the world would be an entirely different place.

Jesus deals with the problem of anger ahead of lust – lust as in sexual sin and brokenness – the use and abuse of others for our gratification (see Matt 5:27-30). Rape is not about sexual lust per se. It’s about violence due to unresolved anger, stemming mostly from deeply broken masculinity in terms of disempowerment or powerlessness. Rape is one of the oldest weapons in human history – along with murder – used by so-called men to humiliate, punish and destroy, for feelings (and reasons) of power and control.

Anger is not the problem. Anger is a God given emotion, a ‘neutral’ feeling that tells us something has gone wrong, something has upset us. It’s what we do with anger that becomes moral – right or wrong. We can choose to:

a) respond to anger by disclosing it and resolving what caused it, as Jesus taught (called ‘forgiveness and reconciliation’), or…

b) we can react to anger by suppressing it and eventually imploding (called ‘unforgiveness and bitterness’), and/or…

c) we can react to anger by venting it and exploding (called ‘contempt, rage and violence’).

Both b) and c) are sinful because they damage human beings, ourselves included. The ‘s-word’ has become politically incorrect. But SIN is not an irrelevant religious category by an oppressive pedantic god. Whatever undermines and destroys human dignity is sin because it violates God’s image in the name of self-serving power and control. At root it is the human presumption that we can live life without God – we don’t need him – we can control our own lives and “do it my way” (as Frank Sinatra sang). The root problem in SA is that we’ve rejected God in the name of postmodern liberal political correctness. We’re paying an enormous price for it.

Unresolved anger is extremely dangerous the longer it’s left to itself. It’s an open invitation to demons – yes, literal evil spirits – to invest and torment the person, driving them beyond all rational self control in moments of lust and rage. The result? Rape and murder. Our society is increasingly at the mercy of demons driving men to do more and more evil.

What’s the solution? Personally, I’m ashamed to be a man in SA today. My gender associates me with all the so-called men who violate women and children every 28 seconds – from molestation to rape, from psycho-emotional violence to physical murder. We men – ALL of us men – need to do what the young rabbi from Nazareth repeatedly called for wherever he went, in every village, town and city: REPENT. That is the root of the remedy in SA. Repentance is not an outdated religious concept aimed at oppressing people with feelings of guilt. It’s actually a matter of life and death, of the future survival or destruction of our nation. The choice is ours.

To REPENT is to humble oneself before God and all others, openly acknowledging our profound spiritual bankruptcy and broken masculinity as men, turning from our wicked ways, crying out to God for mercy, as we beg for forgiveness from the women and children of this nation. We have to face the fact that something has gone wrong deep in the male psyche and ultimately only God can help us. Denial has to be broken. Why must it take incidences as Anene Booysens and Reeva Steenkamp to get the attention of the nation? What about the 100 000s of other women and children who did not get to the national headlines, let alone make international news?

Just imagine what would happen if the first or leading male in SA, our President Jacob Zuma (who was tried on a rape charge, but was acquitted), stood up by kneeling down before God and the nation, putting on sack-cloth and ashes, because of the crying shame of what men do to women and children in his (our) country. Imagine if he called all men to do the same, on a set day of confession of male sins against women and children, a chosen day of public humiliation and repentance, of fasting and prayer. It just might be that God would listen and have mercy and intervene and help turn men from their sins, heal their broken masculinity – their perverse need for position, power, control – and restore our land to safety and security and peace and harmony (it is no wonder to me that more and more opposition parties are led by women, including Mamphela Ramphela’s new opposition party. What is this saying, symbolically, to our nation?)

And if our President won’t do it, then who will? Whether he does it or not, all men who say they follow Jesus must lead the way. We must repent before the nation, publicly if possible, crying out to God for mercy, asking the women and children for forgiveness, calling ALL men to repentance and healing by God’s intervening grace.

May God indeed have mercy on me, Alexander Venter, on Oscar Pistorious, on the young men who raped and murdered Anene Booysens, on all of us men in this beautiful rainbow nation called South Africa. God bless Africa.

13 thoughts on “South African Crisis of Violent Rape and Murder

  1. Thank you Alexander ! Thank you for once again taking the lead and calling it for what it is ! Excellent blog and may your appeal reach the right people nationally so that an end can be made to this HORROR !! In my own small way I promise to pass this on in the prayerful hope it will make a difference. Evil persists because good people do nothing – may that not be said of us who are saved by grace.

    God speed and God bless ! Barbara

    1. Thanks so much Barbara for your feedback, for your love and support. May God have mercy on us!

  2. In kayandi, where i work, I am dealing with situation where 10 year old boy raped and sodomised 7 children, boys and girls, aged between 5 and 8.

    I had to save perpetrator yesterday from being beaten to death by a victim’s mother while members of community stood by and watched.

    I have no words!


    Sent from my iPhone

  3. Alexander, thank you. x

  4. The dignity and identity of men as who the Lord intended for them to be need to be restored. This will come with healing, teaching and modelling – but as you so rightly say it begins with the honesty that leads to repentance. Repentance acknowledges both the problem and the need and allows for the intervention of the Lord. It has to begin with the Christians and within the church.

  5. Thank you for speaking the truth and touched the root of the problem – i am separated from my husband at the moment and for 23 years suffered psycho emotional violence, which no one

    can see and no one still believe me till i read your article which told me that you believe the

    women and after battling for many months now to believe in the Love of Jesus again, Luke 7.47

    gave me the breakthrough of what i have known so well before i got married to this man and your

    explanation of the above, set me free and i believe in His love for me again – you loose

    everything in an abusive relationship specially if your husband is a churchman who do all the

    right things outside, but in the home you are a slave who deserves no care or love and get

    punished in emotional ways if you do not do the ”Submit -thing” and you loose the most precious thing you had, your faith in the love of Jesus for you. Your article which i read tonight was my

    answer on the turmoil i am experiencing for a long time now, an answer on my call that the

    Lord must bring me a breaktrough. i believe that for the first time i am on the road of

    healing now. Thank you for looking through the eyes of Jesus at our women.

    1. Thanks Martie, I was deeply moved as I read your feedback. I weep for you and pray for your healing and restoration. Please forgive us men for doing what your ex husband did to you. God have mercy on you, and on him, and on us men.

      But isn’t God good and gracious, that in his time (when we seem to be ready) he turns the worst stuff that the devil can do to us, for our good. “God works in all things for our good, to those who love Jesus and are called according to his purposes” (Rom 8:28). May God indeed turn all that you’ve been through for your good.

      My wife and I have already prayed for you, and we will continue to.

      God bless

      1. Thank you so much for Rom.8.28, this was the word the Lord also gave me and repeated it

        in Genesis 50.22, the story of Joseph and his brothers and reminded me again in Psalm 85.2 –

        all in diff. afr. Bibles a i am afrikaans as well as my eng. bible and you CONFIRMED it too – as i was

        so hurt and confused by many things happening i also could not hold onto that in this time but

        now i can. I cannot tell you what it means to me that at last somebody understand (by you

        article) and pray for me – as said previously i was blamed for everything and nobody believed

        me and that caused much confusion – please keep on praying that this confusion re the

        many accusations will totally leave me that i can be restored to the person i was in Jesus, the

        childlike faith i had in His love, His care and everything wihich involves a relationship with


        I bless you.

    2. Dear Martie – I know so well what you are writing about and come alongside you, my sister, to put an arm around your shoulder and to encourage you. I personally know how devastating emotional and verbal abuse can be, tearing dow the last bits of self respect. It left me on the brink of suicide 2x and if the Lord had not intervened I would not be writing this reply. – I share what I am about to share to help you stand up again and come into the knowledge of who you are : a princess in the Kingdom with Christ living inside of you. ~ I had to examine myself – and still do – why I allowed such abysmal treatment for so many years. Over time the Lord showed me that my picture of myself was wrong – that I had convinced myself that this was the best I could expect, the ‘crumbs off the table’. – I also justified the abuser’s behaviour by understanding why he/they was like that – his (often early childhood) wounding, the insecuirty, the fear, not to say paranoia, the need to be in CONTROL at all times to alleviate his own stress, but it didn’t make a difference .

      These kinds of men have an uncanny ability to wear different and very convincing masks depending on the company they find themselves in. That is why others don’t believe you because they pr0bably only see the calm, charming, supportive ‘man of God’ – but they never see what happens when you are alone at home with him….

      As Alexander quite rightly said : God turns everything for good and, like me, you are now perfectly positioned to receive the Lord’s words of love and affirmation, value and care over you. This is a level of acceptance and belovedness only few will ever experience this side of eternity, simply

      because they are not open to it.

      Look to Jesus now, your Redeemer King who has seen and heard everything that happened and will cover you with His feathers now.

      Love and blessings – and prayers Barbara

      I pray that you will find a loving and supportive environment where He can restore you and you can love and trust again.

      As for your husband – release him into the hands of the Lord

      1. I hear in every word you have written that you were there…that is why you can help me, why we went through many things to help others – you will not believe me, i stay with my dad of 92 also

        abusing me,( trying to make a slave of me) but all of u sudden i started to stand up by prayer,

        by walking out etc etc. Eventually i was confused bec. a child of God should not stand up against

        a farther, but fortunately i shared with 2 friends who recognised this and i work at it not to allow

        it – from one abusive situation to another! But not so heavy than that of my husband – i just

        know for sure, i do not need to take this and are busy making plans to get out of this too. While

        wrting to you i understand now a promise of the Lord that came to me a time ago – “for the

        double hurt, you go through, you will have double joy!”” I do not want to take so much of

        your time, but is it not amazing how i since the breakthrough last night, everything just come

        back clearer and clearer to me!!!!!!!!! And thank you for the conf. of giving my husband and

        my dad now to Him – also scriptures i got………….to leave my case in His hands – everytime my

        husband take me to court re the house we must sell, amasing things happens to stop us to

        appear in court!!! He must have a plan, big plans somewhere in future.

        love and regards.

      2. Hi Martie,

        1. you are not wasting my time ! If we are not there for each other to help and encourage each other then we are missing the message of Jesus !

        2. I am so blessed that what I wrote was actually a confirmation – that encourages me ! 🙂

        3. I am thrilled that you are standing up in prayer ! I pray LIBERTY and VICTORY over you in Jesus’ Name !!! The Lord will surely come to your rescue because He loves you and knows your heart’s cry!!

        4. As for the perpetrators in our life : I have found it very helpful to leave them to God, knowing He will fight the battle and vindicate me/you some day. I have already experienced that when others who hadn’t seen the inside picture and judged and accused and condemned me, came and apologized for getting it so wrong … That is healing without our effort.

        5. I have something that I think will bless you – as it blessed me with revelation and breakthrough.

        1 Cor 13 is a passage we all know well and take it to mean that this is how we are to treat others – which is correct. But there’s more : THIS is also exactly how the LORD LOVES each one of us – and how we are to love ourselves. Isn’t that wonder-ful ?! 🙂

        “Smile ! God loves you and there is nothing you can do about it !” Keep repeating that to yourself 🙂

        Take care !


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