When it comes to people named Alice, there are two that are noteworthy in the greater scheme of things and specifically when it comes to security in South Africa. Interestingly enough, they both faced a red queen.
The first is Alice from the Resident Evil series of films. She’s relevant to security because she always manages to extract herself from impossible situations and, perhaps I’m just envious, but the fact that she simply kills all the zombies until there are none left is somehow satisfying although we don’t all have firearms that never run out of ammo.
After the recent announcement of the crime statistics for South Africa, perhaps a few of the above Alices could be added to the ranks of the police force? Ignoring the real toll of these numbers, in other words, the thousands upon thousands of lives damaged, traumatised and destroyed by criminal acts, the real depression hits when one considers that these war-like statistics have been massaged and bullied into providing the best results possible.
You could be forgiven for thinking an improvement is impossible and making plans to move far away. Many have done so and with the ANC’s latest nincompoopery in terms of the NHI and propping up incompetent and irredeemable state-owned looting-troughs (or companies as the politically correct call them), funded by your pension, many others are making similar plans.
Now would be the traditional place to add in the joke about the last one to leave switching the lights off, but the Eskom trough has made that heartbreakingly unnecessary.
Which brings us to the second Alice who said: “There’s no use trying, one can’t believe impossible things.” (From Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll.)
Fortunately for Alice, the queen was on hand to disambiguate the realistic Alice, saying: "I daresay you haven’t had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
If Alice was the president of South Africa, she would probably have been shocked at that statement.
However, as it turns out using the logic of Wonderland (or South Africa these days), she wasn’t and in the 2010 movie about Alice she actually counts six impossible things while fighting the Jabberwocky:
1. There’s a potion that can make you shrink.
2. There’s a cake that can make you grow.
3. Animals can talk.
4. Cats can disappear.
5. There is a place called Wonderland.
6. She is able to slay the Jabberwocky.
What we need to decide is if there’s a South African Alice (or Alices) who can slay our Jabberwockies. Our Alice would have to have an extraordinarily strong constitution (not the one they plan on changing to suit themselves), a belief in the impossible (which is pretty standard if you were born in this country and are still here), and the courage to do the right thing instead of diving into the troughs.
Six impossible (South African) things
Our Alice would have more than six impossibilities to believe, but six should be enough to get her going. I would suggest they are:
1. The economy can be saved by careful management and effective action against corruption.
2. There are people in leadership who have the skills, ethics and common sense to manage the country properly; and there are those willing to fight corruption and crime instead of joining the looting spree.
3. The police force can become a professional, competent, politically neutral crime-fighting organisation.
4. The National Prosecuting Authority can prosecute criminals and not play political games.
5. The education system can actually educate and teach usable skills that prepare kids for the real world outside Wonderland.
6. A real public-private partnership will dramatically reduce the unemployment rate.
It’s all about believing impossible things. So, with the crime statistics behind us, I guess the question that remains is if there are enough people left in South Africa who can still stretch their minds to believe the impossible?
The Internet tells me that Albert Einstein said: “The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it”. Since it was on the Internet it must obviously be a true quote from the genius.
And a half
In case you’re wondering about the headline to this article, the half-impossible thing to believe is that the reality TV show about the Zuma’s will be a complete failure and not even survive the first season. Although, perhaps some things really are impossible.
Lest we forget: CCTV Handbook 2019
October is also the month in which we publish the CCTV Handbook 2019. You should get it with your October issue of Hi- Tech Security Solutions. We hope the handbook provides readers with an interesting read as well as some food for thought about the future of their own businesses in the age of AI and the expansion of connected everything.
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