In the month of November in two thousand and six Ananias Mathe was found guilty of fifty one counts of criminal activities ranging from Rape, attempted robbery and hijacking. In December of the same year he was rearrested after attempting to escape from prison using petroleum jelly. Of course he had assistance from within! His violencewas mostly towards Women. The thirty year old young man at the time, born Mozambican; had left his native land for greener pastures to South Africa. Like any other child, he never saw himself as a pain to society. Little is know about his childhood but many mental expects believe he was a disturbed child. Ananias was very close to his father, this was a parent who never gave up on his son and would visit him now and then in prison. Our parents ideally will always see the best in us!
Of special note is the fact that he remains the only individual in our lifetime to have managed to escape from maximum high-security C-Max Penitentiary in Pretoria, South Africa’s Capital city. This incidence granted him the name ‘South Africa’s Houdini’. We also note that in two thousand and five he had tried to escape with with no victory. So its was in the last months of two thousand and sixteen before meeting his death, he also failed! Of shock; Africans woke up to the announcement of his death on early hours of December the twenty seventh from a Durban hospital.
When he was alive, many families became victims of his inhuman activities. The young man seemed to care less about his criminal activities towards his fellow human beings. Mathe also portrayed disrespect towards South Africa’s laws and its rehabilitation programme, that being the Department of Correctional services. Beyond his crimes, he still saw himself as a normal being fit enough to be trusted around humanity. His continuous attempt to escape from prison will never be forgotten.
Of concern is how little was spoken about his victims and how they are coping with their pain. Mathe stole the show, creating a name for himself and even today we talk about him and little about his victims. Ananias Mathe must be grateful in South Africa, they believe in rehabilitation otherwise he deserved to be hanged! He lives behind his family which loved him. While at it he also lives behind many dented, hurt people.
An important question arises, when is humanity suppose to say REST IN PEACE Mr Mathe? Does Mathe’s disturbed childhood and unfortunate upbringing allow us to forget his crimes and send condolences to his family? We surely can not forget how others suffered under his temporary ‘MIGHT’. As he rests, we only hope he will eventually understand why he was suppose to be jailed, we only hope he will now see why his kind were never allowed to dine with the rest and were better kept away.
In his life, post being found guilty, no apology was offered to the victims, their familiesand humanity as a whole. Mathe was arrogant until his death. We are glad he will harm no soul again, we are glad he will not waiste our resources chasing him. We are glad as a people we can now move on. Moving on being hard! Victims still have a long way to go. His damage will be felt for years. Of course to his loved one’s, those who understood his evil animosity towards women and mental expects they will say REST IN PEACE Ananias MATHE!
Rhulani Thembi Siweya is a the founder of Africa Unmasked and an NEC member of the ANC Youth League. She writes in her personal capacity.