By Gab Oguda
There is this case in South Africa that has gripped the nation since last month.
A woman, aptly nicknamed Lion Mama, in Eastern Cape province, was coming back to her house last month from work. It was like any other day, until she makes it within 100 metres to the main door and hears deafening screams coming in from inside.
It was her 27 year-old-daughter being raped by three men who had broken into the house while she was away. Lion Mama, like the caring mother all mothers are, feels a paralyzing chill down her spine, activates her adrenaline rush, makes the lightning dash inwards and kicks the door open like fairy Flash Gordon.
What she saw did not allow her to wait for any second invitation on what to do next, and when she was done, one of the rapists was lying dead in a pool of blood, while the other two escaped with life-threatening injuries. Hell hath no fury like a lioness protecting her cub.
The cops came, hauled her to the station to record a statement, and announces on radio the intention of the state to charge her with first degree murder.
You have never seen the entire Eastern Cape furious like that before. The whole province, from Mt. Frere, in North East, to Oyster Bay, down South, marched to the cop station and demanded the immediate release of Lion Mama or else the government watajua hawajui.
They crowdfunded her bail, and accompanied her to court every time she went for hearings. They told the government, in no uncertain terms, that if Lion Mama was to be sent to the gallows, they would be the first to line-up on the death penalty guillotine, and there were no signs that they were bluffing. It was up to the government to make their move.
Yesterday was the determination of Lion Mama’s landmark case. You should have seen the packed courtroom, everyone from Eastern Cape who could make it there went. It was the case of the decade. Everyone settles in court and the proceedings are about to get underway.
First up is the National Prosecuting Authority, on behalf of the government.
They don’t want to waste anyone’s time. They tell the judge that the state had no further interest in the case having weighed their chances of success and considered them negligible. Its not like they had a choice, anyway.
The judge brings the courtroom to order, says he is left with no other option but to strike off the case from the roll, brings down his hammer, and tells Lion Mama she’s free to go.
“Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery. – Malcolm X