Adapt and die – by Dan Roodt (ebook essay)

This short essay by Dan Roodt changed South Africa when it was published ten years ago in 2004. Various academics in Cape Town and Stellenbosch became almost hysterical upon reading it and it provoked a national debate in South Africa.

Now you can read it for only $1.00, almost free.

Here are the first two paragraphs:

During the time of National Party reforms in the seventies and eighties, the cliché "adapt or die" used to do the rounds. Nowadays, given the highest murder rate in the world, this should be modified slightly to read, "adapt and die". For the endemic social violence in South Africa is probably incurable.

Optimists think that violent crime can be solved through better policing, more efficient courts and more secure prisons. Even assuming that such improvements were possible under conditions of hard-core affirmative action, it must be admitted that criminal justice treats the symptom and not the cause of social violence. The Department of Correctional Services, for one, has lost 496 out of 500 former Deputy Directors since 1994, representing most of the intellectual capital in the department. Newcomers may learn their job properly, or they may not, but they have to be flown to overseas countries to find out how prisons work as most of those previously involved in managing our prisons are no longer there.

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