A leather-gloved hand grips Thulani’s neck and squeezes. According to his experience of being choked by the police before, it takes thirty seconds before you become desperate for air. But as soon as the leather glove tightens around his neck, Thulani feels like he’ll pass out in the next second. In his right mind he wouldn’t fight back in a situation like this; he’d just let the Berets do with him whatever they want. But his body has its own self-protecting mechanism – he claws at the arm and kicks at the Beret choking him.

The Beret slaps Thulani, sending his head banging on the wall before he tumbles to the ground. Instead of wallowing in the pain, he uses the opportunity on the ground to rapidly breathe in.

“Where’s the jewellery?” A steel-toed boot strikes Thulani’s hip. He instantly loses all feeling in his leg.

“I’m not-”

Another boot stomps on his bare chest and stays there.

“Listen, we’re not here to play,” says the officer stomping on his chest.

“Let’s just finish him,” says another officer.

Thulani gasps when the ice-cold muzzle of a machine gun presses on his forehead. He can’t see the faces of the officers because the brightness on the torchlights is blinding. The machine gun is cocked with a sound resembling that of a lion chewing human bones. By the time Thulani reminds himself that they won’t shoot him, that these are all just scare-tactics, his jeans are warm with his urine.

“We’ll make you kak shit today!” The leather glove is back in his throat, but this time it’s a little smaller and doesn’t choke as tight. It tries to lift him off the ground but he’s too heavy for it. When his neck begins to slip away from the glove, the glove suddenly pushes his neck down. The back of his head lands with a thud on the floor, and he blacks out. The Berets kick him a few more times until they are satisfied he has really passed out.


Zothani opens his eyes to take another visual sip of the Samantha’s naked body straddling him. She, like him, is gasping for air. Zothani feels like he has just survived death by too much pleasure. When he first saw Samantha she was just a very beautiful coloured girl, but after such passionate lovemaking he would get on his knees and sing her praises if she asked.

In the club, Rasta pours shots for the girls at their table too drunk to care where Mlu and Jack have been for the last thirty minutes.

Mlu and Jack are outside chatting, smoking cigarettes.“Zothani, that guy, I know he’d put a bullet in my skull any day and then sleep like a baby,” says Jack. He is leaning on the wall of the club and exhaling cigarette smoke.

“All Zothani cares about is money, and the only reason he still gives us our fair share is because we only get little cash from robberies,” says Mlu.

“Yeah, I bet the day we take down a big score these guys will leave us cold in a forest somewhere.”

“I don’t trust them at all. That’s why we should always be ready to hit them first. And make sure Zothani’s body is cold before we leave because if he survives, we’ll never be able to sleep again,” Mlu laughs.

Jack sees the steely cold look in Mlu’s eyes and chokes on his cigarette.


Tell us: what do you think of the behaviour of the police?