A fortnight later and Leo Prinsloo has finally taken a backseat after his video-ed heroics foiling a high-speed attempted armed robbery. This is South Africa. This is how it is. There’s another crisis. There’s always another crisis.
The thing is Cash-in-Transit heists have been with us for almost 20 years. And the robbers are good, very good. As Prinsloo says in a video interview that was released this week, most of them have specialised firearm training, many of them have got cell phone jammers. Some of them are ex-military or police. They might even be security guards themselves. They are adept with high velocity automatic weapons. They’re able to plan and execute attacks using multiple players and vehicles.
These aren’t new revelations, but it’s daunting to hear Prinsloo speak about it. He’s deadpan, matter of fact. This is his lived reality. He just makes a plan because ‘n Boer Maak ‘n Plan. It’s probably a truer motto for South Africa than !ke e: /xarra //ke.
We are forever making plans: Eskom? Light a candle or, if you can afford it, install a generator. GBV? Moan about it, get a free t-shirt and change your Facebook avatar – or wave a placard outside the court if you can be bothered. Potholes in the road? Moan about them on WhatsApp or post a selfie on Facebook pretending to have a swim. Drive around them – or on the other side of the road. Water pipe bursts? Get yourself a Jojo or keep the bath filled.
The Zondo Commission is the same. The tales of State Capture are stupefying, but they are only the tip of the iceberg that is the underworld of corruption and corporate collusion that runs in parallel to the country we believe exists. The politicians are a joke, the ANC has taken months to get to where it is – to get its criminally charged members to actually step aside. The EFF is implicated in its own state capture, while the DA shouts one thing from the rooftops and then does precisely the opposite – when it comes to some of its members. The other parties are an irrelevance – one is even called ATM.
The local government elections are coming up, nothing much will change, despite the clamour on social media and the political litter on lamp poles. Maybe less people will even bother to register. Even less will use their public holiday to actually vote.
We’ll just make a work around – and moan – it’s the South African way.
Prinsloo’s “interview” is actually a pitch to get people to get trained by his company. It’s very clever, and why shouldn’t he make lemonade out of the lemons he dodged? It’s no less fascinating for all that.
“You can’t make plans, you make instinctive actions based on previous experiences and muscle memory,” he says. But, like everyone else, he is making a plan and now he wants to train us to make a plan to avoid getting killed, raped or robbed.
It shouldn’t be like that. It’s time we had a plan, not a work around, to get this country to work.
Originally published by the Saturday Star on 15 May 2021.