Burning he was! On my way home I witnessed a tragic, hideous incident which was unbearable to look at, a man covered in fire all over his body. He was in flames. The only thing which was left of him was the structure of his body which was moving around and a voice which yelled out “Help! Help! I am burning!”

With his accent you could tell he was not from South Africa, probably some other country in Africa. This explained why he was being burned and that was because of Xenophobia.

Around him was a bunch of angry men who showed no remorse as they shouted “Makashe!” They were so infuriated saying: “These people take our jobs and kill our children by selling them drugs.”

I could feel the man’s pain in his voice. I could feel the agony he was going through only by the way he sounded. He sounded so helpless.

His face was slightly visible and that’s when I saw his eyes, which were filled with tears which had no way of coming out. It became painful to see and witness a person taking someone else’s life and too painful that it became futile for him to cry. The more he moved and yelled the more ash-like he became.

The smell of his skin burning gave me goose bumps. I had a vile taste in my mouth, I just couldn’t take it anymore. Tears threatened to come out my eyes. Tears which stood firmly in his eyes were unlocked by me, I wept so hard that I was unable to stand.

It sickened me seeing a person suffer so helplessly. The infuriated men kept their purpose of burning him. “Makashe!” My heart sank. If this is how death was meant to be then I didn’t want it. He was already dead.

I asked myself whether this was how people were meant to die, to suffer all the pain before being admitted to Heaven. Then if it is that life is cruel. I looked at him as he took his last breath on earth as his soul departed from his body. There was no life left in him. Burning he was and now, he was dead.


Tell us: What makes people act so cruelly towards others? Have we lost our humanity?