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New, and such a long way to go


brisbound
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Shew!

I am 38 year old company director and live in beautiful Cape Town (Pinelands). I was born here, studied at UCT and am raising two gorgeous children (my daughter is 5, and my son is 2). I met my wife on a big 5 game reserve where we both worked (we are huge bush babies) and I have watched our friends and associates emigrate one by one and have always viewed them as being too hasty in their decisions to leave. It will get better I told myself, we are a wonderful "Rainbow nation" etc etc. I work in the tourism industry so my job is to tell people how wonderful SA is.

Then in November I left work as it grew dark after a typically long day, and drove up my driveway at home. When I looked in the rearview mirror there were three of them and they were armed. They were pro's, well dressed, well spoken. My wife saw what was happening from the lounge and managed to grab the kids and lock herself and them in the study. I was calm, strangely calm. All I could think of was "what a stupid way to die, in my driveway in front of my wife and children". I nearly said it out loud. It was surreal. I did exactly what I was told and survived physically intact. My car was recovered a few hours later, minus all of its contents naturally. The cops arrived in about 20 minutes and were great. I went for counselling, first with the police counsellor and then to a shrink. It was good to cry and begin the process of getting it out of my system. I had been so calm during the hijack, but I was deeply affected and in shock. I am a 6 foot 4 typical alpha male, and apart from tears when a family member has died (including the pets- I am a sucker for my dogs) I never show emotion.

During my session with the shrink, I noticed her wiping tears from her eyes too. I found it odd, because while I can tell a good yarn I don't generally reduce people to tears. Especially trained psychiatrists who hear this sort of trauma all of the time...When I asked her if she was OK, she said that she had been hijacked recently with her two children in the car, and was dealing with the same trauma. I joked that she should look at Australia, she said she had already applied to Canada and was waiting for her visa. It wasn't funny anymore.

In retrospect there were positives to be gained from the hijacking. The veneer of calm in my little Pinelands suburb has been removed. I no longer think that "it will happen to someone else". I no longer read horrific stories of parents being murdered in front of there children in a detached way (there have been several terrible murders in Pretoria in the last few days). I have a small inkling of what those families are going through now and my heart bleeds for those children whose parents will never tuck them into their beds with a story ever again. As South Africans (of all colours) we have gone into a state of denial. We live in constant fear, yet mentally distance ourselves from the horror around us. Nothing shocks us anymore, and it is only when you stare into the eyes of a killer with a gun, who will terminate your life for a car and a cell phone, do you realise that we are a society that has lost its soul.

I am past the shock now, but it has been replaced with a deep and burning anger. I have worked hard, very hard to get where I am today. I pay my taxes, obey the laws and mean no one any harm. I am university trained (my wife too) and have so much to offer this country. This country no longer has anything to offer me. My children have no future here, I see that now. I understand for the first time why people leave everything and start all over in a foreign country. How dare they call it the "chicken run"! It must be the hardest thing in the world to have to do.

And so here I am in the "foyer" about to commence the long hard slog to getting that PR visa. We will aim for Brisbane, it looks lovely there and we know some saffers who emigrated a year ago to there who are very happy. This forum has already been a font of information to me and everyone here is so supportive and understanding as you are all going through this too, or have already done so. I have a feeling that my wife and I are going to get to know many of you over the next months and years as we take the long road to OZ. Your help and experience will be greatly appreciated.

I look forward to being a part of your forum

Regards

Dale

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Hi and welcome to forum.The words of truth spoken.I hope all goes well for you and your family.All the support and information you need can be found here on the forum.I think I read more of the post`s and don`t give any replies as there is so much info available.Hope you have hours and hours of fun on this FORUM.

Chow Conrad

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Hi Dale,

Welcome! We also felt the same in the beginning( Family and friends leaving) , however one gets to a point where you need to decide with your head and not your heart (also after being victims of crime). We are now also still in the beginning of the long road to PR application. I see it as part of the 'therapy' and letting 'go', with all the ups and downs of getting all the needed info,etc.

Good luck with your application and see you in Brisbane one day.

Regards

A

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Sorry that this happened to you, but do you guys in SA spend your time in condition white? And if you have to ask what condition white is, you ARE in condition white.

Here in the US, while not nearly as dangerous as SA, I carry a gun with me everywhere I go, and I watch who the heck is following me home, or loitering around in my street.

Shoot a few of those bastages!

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Hi Dale

Welcome to the forum.

Our family has never been directly in contact with serious crime - BUT my sister was hijacked, my father almost hijacked (with my mother and my smaller sister in the car), my neighbors held at gunpoint while being robbed at 2H00 in the morning (with their little daughter between them in their bed) in Sept 2007, close friends of ours also being held at gunpoint and was kicked in the face - they also threw the granny on the floor and hit her with her walking stick (in October 2007), very close friend of mine being held at gunpoint in his office in Nov 2007......

You are doing the right thing :D - this is NO chicken run :P

Bless you and your family.....

Henry

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Hi Hagar

No I am not in "condition white". I am as paranoid as the next South African. I live in a close and I am extremely careful when i enter my street as I know that this is where most attacks happen. I was not followed. There were no strange people loitering in the street. They were waiting for me and hiding in my neighbors garden we suspect. They were on foot, and no unfamiliar cars were parked near my house. They were pro's. I was lucky, it is the amatuers that shoot you.

It is easy to be gung ho and I have thought long and hard about what would have happened if I had a gun on me at the time. I am a good shot with military training and plenty of target shooting under my belt. I choose not to have a gun as I have small children and to be of any use a gun must be close at hand at all times. Close at hand for small children to play with too. I had a gun. It was stolen in a break in at my previous house many years ago. They used that gun to commit a robbery and they used it to shoot at a policeman. I got rid of it when the cops returned it.

There were three of them. I reckon that realistically I could have killed at least 2 before the third one got me. The fact that I was not armed at the time probably saved my life (and my families) as it left me no option but to offer no resistance. On reflection I realised that to protect myself and my family I would show no mercy to an attacker and would aim to kill, not disable. I would also have no remorse or pity. This realisation was alarming to me and highlights the fact that we are a society in free fall. I am not an animal or a barbarian, the fact that these criminals are does not make it allright to have these feelings. Since the attack I have no tolerance or feelings of empathy for Africa. I have no desire to fund upliftment programmes or feed the starving or cure their sick. I am not proud of this. I am not happy that I feel this way and I sincerely hope that my lack of empathy goes away and is replaced with my old sunny disposition.

There is much good in this country, and the vast majority of its citizens are not to blame. The hard cold reality though is that I must do what I can to protect my loved ones, and this should not entail shooting people dead in my yard. I must go where my family will not have to make that decision. I must leave my country and go somewhere where I will not need a gun. I am one of the lucky ones who will be able to leave and take my family with me. I feel genuinely sorry for those who can't. :P

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Welcome Dale & Family!

Hope that this forum will be in inspiration to you and that it will make the whole move for you and your family so much easier. May this move to Brisbane be a road of recovery! :D

My sister, her husband and 2 little daughters moved to Brisbane in Nov 05, they are so happy there!

Emmigrating is definatly the most difficult thing I've ever done (and I'm still waiting for my visa)! But I know in my heart is the right thing to do!

All the best!

Maria :P

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Hi Dale,

Welcome to the forum and welcome to the family.

I have so much to say in agreement to what you have said! But the MOST important thing is " I am not happy that I feel this way and I sincerely hope that my lack of empathy goes away and is replaced with my old sunny disposition." and I pray that God will grant you this!!!

We're here for you guys!

Good luck

Nilo

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Hi Brisbound

Welcome to our forum, I trust you will find answers to all your questions here. I wish you safety for you and your family for the remainder of your stay in SA.

It is pure joy to throw off that yoke of 'despair at your safety' once you arrive in Australia!

Hagar

I feel sorry for you, you clearly did not end up in the right place!

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Thanks everyone B)

This forum is fantastic and I am sure that it will be invaluable to me in my quest to become a dinkum ozzie.

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Hi brishound,

Welcome to my favourite corner on the www! Even though you are right at the start of your process, you;ve taken the biggest and hardest step of all - that very first one! You'll experience the frustrations, the waiting, the despair and the elation and may second-guess yourself a few times still, but always remember why you took this first step and you'll be fine.

What you wrote really resonated with me. I wish I'd had your courage when I had my experience. In early 1997, when my kids were 4 and 2, I was shot during an armed robbery at our local petrol station. Through a series of unbelievably lucky breaks and bizarre circumstances, I survived a gunshot wound to the head and walked away from the incident with a nasty scar and a new, rather unflattering haircut. Initially, in those early panicky weeks, we thought about leaving the country. But as time drew on, we adjusted and to it and I actually rationalised the whole thing. I convinced myself that now that it had happened to me, it couldn't happen again and we somehow had an immunity from any future violence. Talk about the Boiling Frog sydnrome!!!

I managed to fool myself for another 8 long years, and thankfully, we actually weren't victims of violence again. But many around us were. My two nephews, my in-laws, some people in our street. How I reached the epiphany that we needed to leave and how I secured our future is a another long story for another time, but we landed here in December 2005 and I have never looked back. 13 days after we left, my neighbour and friend was shot and killed in his house in front of the family Christmas Tree, while his wife and their two sons (same age as my two at the time - 10 and 12) lay tied up and gagged in the bedroom. A cell ohone was stolen.

Is emigration hard? Hell yes!!! But living in South Africa was much, much harder.

Welcome again, and I hope all goes smoothly for you

Cheers

Ajay

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Hi Brisbound

Sometimes, unfortunately an "incident" is necessary to give the impetus to leave a "comfortable" life and start over.

Your "incident" has changed the course of your life- and in particular the lives of your children.

We have lived on the Gold Coast(50 km south of Brisbane) for six years. No one I know here even owns a gun. We have lost that horrible de-sensitization to crime.

We cannot offer you The BIg 5 Reserves, but we can offer you big skys,huge open spaces, and a safe road.

It will all be worth it. Tough now I know, but oh so worth it.

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Hi Brisbound

I know exactly what you went through, having “survived” two robberies at gunpoint in the “safety” of our own house.

The hardest thing was to see my husband (the protector) being tied up, helpless to do anything while the robbers dragged me around the house.

Needless to say, we are different people since living in Melbourne. It took us 2 years to make the decision, but it was the best move ever.

Good luck to you and your family.

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What you wrote really resonated with me. I wish I'd had your courage when I had my experience. In early 1997, when my kids were 4 and 2, I was shot during an armed robbery at our local petrol station. Through a series of unbelievably lucky breaks and bizarre circumstances, I survived a gunshot wound to the head and walked away from the incident with a nasty scar and a new, rather unflattering haircut. Initially, in those early panicky weeks, we thought about leaving the country. But as time drew on, we adjusted and to it and I actually rationalised the whole thing. I convinced myself that now that it had happened to me, it couldn't happen again and we somehow had an immunity from any future violence. Talk about the Boiling Frog sydnrome!!!

Cheers

Ajay

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Welcome Dale - you are so right in your summary of what is happening to SA. As you begin the business of getting everything you need together and start freeing yourself o the ties that bind - there will be some times of dilemma - am I doing the right thing? Maybe???? -dont look back - just keep looking forward and checking on this forum - you will continue to find motivation here every single day.

Emmigrating is incredibly hard and it will take a good while to lose SA and find yourself a true blue ozzie - but it will happen. You are young and you are making this decision to provide a safe and secure life for you and your family. There is crime here too - it is not Utopia but there isnt the same mindless kind of crime and of course depending on where you live there can be almost zero crime! Good luck and god bless as you start this new adventure!

Pat

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Dale,

You were lucky.

You may not be so next time, and to stick around increases the probablity that there will be a "next time".

We don't carry guns in Australia, unlike what Hagar seems to need to do in South Carolina, U.S.A.

You both need to get out of your present environment to a place where you can feel safe.

Getting stopped by the police in Australia with a gun on you or in your car will land you in gaol faster than your feet can run . . . . and you will find yourself a guest of Her Majesty for about one year or so behind bars.

The feeling that you need to carry a gun is symptomatic of a lawless society where a citizen feels compelled to defend themselves since the Law won't deal appropriately with criminals.

You'll find Australia and Australians a friendly bunch and you'll find yourself free to walk around downtown or in the evenings without being troubled or mugged.

It will take a lot of time to settle down and feel yourself at ease instead of constantly on guard, but it will come with time.

More importantly, your kids can feel safe and have the same opportunity as anyone else in town.

Australia. Enjoy.

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Hi Dale.

Welcome to the family.

I can concur with what's been said here in response to your post, the good and the bad.

We've been here for close to two weeks now and I can honestly tell you that it still surprises me to see old ladies, young girls etc at the bus stop alone at night. I instinctively take in a sharp breath in fear for their lives and then.... I remember where I am. It is a GREAT feeling. :(

Good Luck with your journey to a new life. It will be worth it.

Cheers.

G

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Dear Brisbound

I was a witness to a murder 12 years ago. A man was shot and killed at a shopping centre and the killer turned and ran past me with the gun. We tried to help the injured man but he died later in hospital. I will never forget this dying man's face, it still haunts me. I also became part of the chiken run and have been in Australia 10 years now. This chicken is so happy because I don't live in fear any more. I don't need that big gun that I owned in SA. We go for walks late on a summer night,my children skateboard in the street outside the house, women go jogging by themself's. It is school holiday's and we travel on the train and busses without fear. When my dog barks at night I know it's at the possum's and I just turn arround and fall back to sleep peacefully. Brisbound you have been strong so far and with this inner strength you will lead your family to a better and saver life here in Australia. One of the Aussie teachers at my boy's school went for a holiday in South Africa this December and before she left she asked two boy's in her class that are from SA what should she pack in for her holiday . Their reply was "take a gun mam, everybody in SA has a gun ." WOW, how sad is that to think that this is the norm that the South African children has to grow up with in SA, no thank you not for my boy's.

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Hi Brisbound

Welcome to the site and so sorry to hear about your dreadful trauma. You will find everything on this site to help your process along. I wish I had found it earlier.

We leave in a months' time and already I am wanting to do a U-turn and am forgetting the reasons why we are doing this so thanks for the reminder, even though I don't relish hearing anyone's stories of trauma.

We have never been victims of serious crime in SA :( fortunately and I have wanted to move to Oz for the past 15 years but only became eligible to apply for a visa 2 years ago. It took us two years to get our sponsorsed regional visa!!!! So my reasons for leaving haven't really been about the crime per se although to me it definitely makes sense to leave SA for that reason alone. I am a psychologist and have listened to enough stories of violent crime and have had enough men crying in my practice through an armed robbery to last me a lifetime; I have even had successful male victims of crime end up wanting to end their lives as a result of the trauma.

All the best with your application process and your healing process

JulieK

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Hi Brisbound

It is such a tragedy to hear of yet another honest, law abiding citizen who has to feel unsafe, neglected by basic fundamentals of this constitution, and aslo having to have to resort to safer grounds--We are like unwelcome tourists in our own country.

This forum will enrich and support you in many more ways than one and soon you will feel like your at home

on this site.The response is overwhelming and secure.

You will find that many feel the same way as you either due to similar experiences or pure disgust in the way things are done in this beautiful country of ours.

I believe that once the well has dried we need to bore for new water in new, yet sometimes far surroundings.

God bless you and your family

The Rosebunch

Shew!

I am 38 year old company director and live in beautiful Cape Town (Pinelands). I was born here, studied at UCT and am raising two gorgeous children (my daughter is 5, and my son is 2). I met my wife on a big 5 game reserve where we both worked (we are huge bush babies) and I have watched our friends and associates emigrate one by one and have always viewed them as being too hasty in their decisions to leave. It will get better I told myself, we are a wonderful "Rainbow nation" etc etc. I work in the tourism industry so my job is to tell people how wonderful SA is.

Then in November I left work as it grew dark after a typically long day, and drove up my driveway at home. When I looked in the rearview mirror there were three of them and they were armed. They were pro's, well dressed, well spoken. My wife saw what was happening from the lounge and managed to grab the kids and lock herself and them in the study. I was calm, strangely calm. All I could think of was "what a stupid way to die, in my driveway in front of my wife and children". I nearly said it out loud. It was surreal. I did exactly what I was told and survived physically intact. My car was recovered a few hours later, minus all of its contents naturally. The cops arrived in about 20 minutes and were great. I went for counselling, first with the police counsellor and then to a shrink. It was good to cry and begin the process of getting it out of my system. I had been so calm during the hijack, but I was deeply affected and in shock. I am a 6 foot 4 typical alpha male, and apart from tears when a family member has died (including the pets- I am a sucker for my dogs) I never show emotion.

During my session with the shrink, I noticed her wiping tears from her eyes too. I found it odd, because while I can tell a good yarn I don't generally reduce people to tears. Especially trained psychiatrists who hear this sort of trauma all of the time...When I asked her if she was OK, she said that she had been hijacked recently with her two children in the car, and was dealing with the same trauma. I joked that she should look at Australia, she said she had already applied to Canada and was waiting for her visa. It wasn't funny anymore.

In retrospect there were positives to be gained from the hijacking. The veneer of calm in my little Pinelands suburb has been removed. I no longer think that "it will happen to someone else". I no longer read horrific stories of parents being murdered in front of there children in a detached way (there have been several terrible murders in Pretoria in the last few days). I have a small inkling of what those families are going through now and my heart bleeds for those children whose parents will never tuck them into their beds with a story ever again. As South Africans (of all colours) we have gone into a state of denial. We live in constant fear, yet mentally distance ourselves from the horror around us. Nothing shocks us anymore, and it is only when you stare into the eyes of a killer with a gun, who will terminate your life for a car and a cell phone, do you realise that we are a society that has lost its soul.

I am past the shock now, but it has been replaced with a deep and burning anger. I have worked hard, very hard to get where I am today. I pay my taxes, obey the laws and mean no one any harm. I am university trained (my wife too) and have so much to offer this country. This country no longer has anything to offer me. My children have no future here, I see that now. I understand for the first time why people leave everything and start all over in a foreign country. How dare they call it the "chicken run"! It must be the hardest thing in the world to have to do.

And so here I am in the "foyer" about to commence the long hard slog to getting that PR visa. We will aim for Brisbane, it looks lovely there and we know some saffers who emigrated a year ago to there who are very happy. This forum has already been a font of information to me and everyone here is so supportive and understanding as you are all going through this too, or have already done so. I have a feeling that my wife and I are going to get to know many of you over the next months and years as we take the long road to OZ. Your help and experience will be greatly appreciated.

I look forward to being a part of your forum

Regards

Dale

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Hi there and welcome to the forum!

Glad you decided to make the big move - especially after your experience! :whome:

Good luck with everything. :holy:

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Hello Brisbound,

I currently work in Pinelands and all those that live around here, say they are happy as its a nice 'safe' leafy suburb, behind the armed response and parameter alarms, and somehow look down on me that is leaving the country.

My husband and I are leaving for my daughter's future, and that we can travel to the far east, etc.. but we're leaving mostly due to crime, and since SA head of Police has now been charged???

We too are leaving for Brisbane, we've been there twice and it's a nice city. And we left our doors unlocked and windows open day and night, there are no burglar bars, and you can walk around freely at night, even take the train to the city!

We hope you find all the support you need, to make your application go smoothly ..

Rishka

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Hi Brisbound

Welcome! Sorry to hear about what happened to you in my favourite suburb. I left Pinelands five years ago and I can't believe what is happening there. You doing the right thing. OZ is wonderful and safe! Only burglar bars you need to worry about is the ones that keep the flies out!!!

All the best

Jill

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"Wannabee" has stated something about White folk being neglected by the fundamentals of the new South African Constitution.

A reasonable person can only conclude that a written Constitution isn't worth the paper it's written on if the government doesn't act on its determinations.

If it just neglects to protect one sector of the South African population then it's not worth all the high fluting words that are put into it.

The words mean bugger all in practice.

I am getting older each year, seeing new things and remembering things from the past and have concluded that a written Constitution may sound great, offer everything to everybody, be all things to all men, but it's basically good ol' Common Law which delivers the goods each and every day at the "coal face" of Life.

Maybe it has something to do with my Anglo-Saxon roots, England not having a Constitution, nor has New Zealand and, interestingly, neither has Israel.

I am deeply sceptical about Constitutions.

The old Soviet Union's Constitution guaranteed equality for everyone, freedom for everyone, equal rights for everyone. . . . . blah blah blah.

We all know how good it really was.

Just remember when you've been an Australian citizen for a number of years and the Labor Party wants you "new Australians" to vote for a new Australian Constitution.

Oils ain't oils.

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Hi Brisboun

I also just started my visa application (175) process and have a long way to go? We are considering Brisbane to be our future home. Like you I have two small children (5&6) and are doing it for their future. I realised that everything worth while in life comes with a sacrifice and this is my sacrifice (to start over again after spending years building it up).

I really shed a tear reading your story and all these other stories. I love South Africa but the price of staying is getting too high. About six months ago an eleven year old boy was stabbed 17 times in his home in our neighbourhood in brought daylight. That after the boy made some sandwiches for his attacker. His little sister (6) hid in a cupboard and saw everything. It is a miracle he lived but the sad part is nobody took notice as our lives continued as before. I was involved trying to get a neighbourhood watch going but very few poeple was interested. We are all living in denial.

Nothing came of it and no arrest were made. The police statistics show that only 6% of all murder cases going to trial results in a conviction. In reality it means that if a murder case go to trial (majority do not because of a lack of evidence or bad investigation practise) the murderer have a 94% chance of getting off free. So the bottom line is that you can get away with murder. The chance is almost 100% if you have the money to get a good lawyer - like the orginised crime syndicates have. :magic:

The biggest challenge for SA is to reduce poverty but in the words of a very very wise man:

Proverbs 13:23 Much food is in the plowed ground of the poor, but when there is no justice, it is swept away.

Without law and order all efforts to uplift the poor will be in vain.

It is a difficult road ahead but the same love and grace from God that kept us till now, will guide us in the future. :ilikeit:

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