Where Have All the Flowers Gone?


by Professor Dr. Jacob van der Westhuizen

Pretoria, South Africa


Professor Dr. Jacob van der Westhuizen is a noted criminologist and the former director of a major South African criminology research institute; he currently serves as a Research Consultant to the University of South Africa where he directs the work of postgraduate students of criminal justice and the science of asset protection and security control. Dr. van der Westhuizen received his Bachelor of Arts degree, Bachelor of Arts with honors, Master of Arts cum laude as well as his Ph.D. degree from the University of South Africa. He is a member of the International Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association, the International Police Association, and an Associate Member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.



Is Stereotyping a Global Phenomenon and Does It Affect the General Globalization Process Adversely?


by Professor Dr. Jacob van der Westhuizen


Pretoria, South Africa



Is Stereotyping a Global Phenomenon and Does It Affect the General Globalization Process Adversely?


by Professor Dr. Jacob van der Westhuizen


Pretoria, South Africa

by Professor Dr. Jacob van der Westhuizen


Pretoria, South Africa





Being at the start of a millennium dedicated to the Child, it is prudent to allege that man’s life is like a candle in the wind(1; whereas John Donne(2 reminds us not to ask around for whom the bell tolls, because nowadays our children seem to live their lives like candles in the wind, activating the tolling of bells in quick succession and rendering disastrous consequences for mankind on a global scale.


Likewise: do not ask around to know where the flowers have gone to, because to our utmost horror and shame must we now learn that no less than 75,000 children die in South Africa annually before they reach the age of five.(3




1.0          What more does the Record tell us about the children?(4  


What the Record is about to tell us about the children, is based on statistics released in March 2008 by the National Department of Health, the Medical Research Council, and the University of Pretoria, in a report titled ‘Every death counts’.


1.1              Annual rate of survival


We cringe to hear that 22,000 of the 75,000 children do not survive longer than one month after birth. This brings South Africa in line with twelve other countries, including countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, and Kenya, all of which experience rising mortality rates.   


1.2              Daily rate of non-survival


According to the report 260 mothers and children die each day in South Africa.


1.3              Major causes of death


The major causes of these deaths are HIV-AIDS; undernourishment; diarrhea; poor health facilities; poor health-care to mothers and children; diseases contracted by mother and child at birth; and complications developed during pregnancy and birth.


1.4              The formidable role of poverty


Poverty plays a very decisive role in mobilizing the various causes and activating their combined destructive mode that terminates in the death of mother and child. Poverty’s formidable presence and fatal decaying of the quality of life cause a freefall into despair and misery from which there is no escape. Its prominence makes intermingling and intimate association with all sorts of low-life characters and criminal elements a foregone conclusion. Another predictable result of poverty is the facile experimentation with prostitution for additional income in order to make ends meet. Allow alcohol and drug abuse and misuse to be introduced prior to pregnancy, and one has a perfect recipe for protracting HIV-AIDS.


1.5              The formidable role of HIV-AIDS


The Report states that HIV-AIDS is responsible for 35 percent of child deaths while 11 percent of all children die as a result of diarrhea. Both of these fatal causes of death are predictable, preventable, and treatable. 



1.6              The formidable role of drugs in South Africa


The formidable role of drugs in combination with the other minor causes mentioned supra, can not be underestimated as a driver in causing and exacerbating poverty and want. Nowadays a number of ‘new’ forms and shapes of drugs have been introduced into the drug market, simply to boost sales and increase demand.


One such drug is described by Inspector Jaques Oosthuizen of the Wonderboom Police Services as being sold on the market as nayope in Tshwane; sugar in Durban; and pinch in Mapumalanga; these drugs are becoming more and more popular by the day, for they may play a role in causing crime and fueling violence.(5


Oosthuizen says that the drugs heroin and dagga (marijuana) are rolled into a home-made cigarette (slang: zol, bomb, gasper, snout, reefer, fag, spliff) after pure heroin has been blended with baking soda and dental powder. He says that users usually carry a small mirror and razor-blade with them. This drug is very popular with youngsters because it is readily available and cheap. It sells between R20 (2.5 USD) and R50 (6.25 USD) per gram. There are definite indications and evidence that the drug is used prior to the execution of crimes. The abuse of this drug has increased since the past year, especially in northern Pretoria, Soshanguve, Atteridgeville, Mabopane, Hammanskraal, and Winterveld. (6


1.7   Some other things that could have been done


Some other things that could have been done to save lives are voiced by one of the reporters as follows:  ‘more than 40,000 of these 75,000 mothers and children that die annually, can be saved in the event of improving conditions in the rural  and other parts of the country. This simply means that more than half of the mothers and children die each year quite unnecessarily.


1.8              Other shocking findings by the panel


Other shocking findings by the panel are given below.


q Part of the reason for this phenomenon is that our medical technology and resources do not reach the flash points in time; therefore policy strategies are not at all or very poorly applied.


q  Another failure is the lack and shortage of medical services and in transit facilities.


q One third of the children who die early deaths have suffered from undernourishment and more than sixty percent were underweight for their age.


q More or less 294,000 children who are still alive suffer from HIV-AIDS currently in South Africa. 


2.0   The formidable role of drugs in the poverty trap world-wide


2.1 Attempts to glamorize the use of cocaine in the UK


According to Camilla Cavendish, who writes an eye-opening report for The Times, London {7 drugs must be regarded as a space-time phenomenon, being present everywhere and in several places simultaneously, often encountered and pervasive. Because of this presumed celebrity status of drugs, art, model, and other well-to-do people with acquired celebrity status have recently endeavored to glamorize the use of cocaine.  


2.2 Cavendish’s resolve to the drug problem


Cavendish propagates the legalization of drugs by asserting that ‘(as) the celebrity glamorization of drugs is irrelevant, there would be huge benefits from legalization.’{8


She informed and insisted that . . .


q   draconian laws may have fuelled the UK crack trade;


q  cocaine addicts ‘would not be forced into associating with criminals’ if the drugs trade were legalized;


q  there is a thin line between drugs and thugs;


q  the most powerful role models are dealers, not celebrities: all over Britain school children encounter men in gold jewelry, flaunting their wealth at school gates, enticing children to enter a career where £1 000 a day can be made.


q  Drugs Inc is one of the most profitable, successful enterprises of all time. The UN values it at $330 billion, which is almost as big as the Defense Industry.


q  motivation of the sales force is done with what Van der Westhuizen has previously been defined as the silver bullet approach: silver (free samples, discounts for trading up to harder substances) and the bullet (threats of assault, rape, death);


q   drugs are currently the second largest revenue earner for organized crime;


q   it is estimated that their profit margins are higher than those on luxury

goods, and best of all for the drug lords, they pay no taxes;


q   as a direct result of their success in the field rival gangs and syndicates have entered the scene and compete with those in charge on a violent scale and in a war-like manner.


2.3 Cavendish’s bottom line to solve the drug problem


‘The only way to take back our streets is to wrest back control of the drugs from the criminals, by legalizing and regulating their trade.’(9  


2.4 The crunch


¸ Cavendish admits that legalization would make drugs cheaper, but this must be done to undercut the dealers;


¸ she also admits that usage might increase, but she says perhaps not much because usage is already widespread;


¸ she says that the benefits of legalization could be enormous: a) overcrowded prisons would be relieved of convicts in need of treatment rather than punishment; and b) addicts would not be in a position to associate with criminals, in stead children would once more be safe and sound in the schools’ playgrounds.


2.5 Repealed Prohibition(10


6 Cavendish refers to 1933 when the United States of America repealed Prohibition after this elaborate mechanism failed to produce the expected results which had been envisaged by the legislators. She avers that the ban on alcohol had corrupted the police, increased the number of hard drinkers and created a whole new class of bootleg suppliers. For her Britain’s equivalent of Prohibition was the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971. Up to that time the British people had treated addiction as an illness, heroin addicts got their fix on prescription and there were only 5 000 problematic drug users, according to Transform, the drug policy group. Thirty years on there are 280 000 – an increase of 5 200 percent.


6 Cavendish follows this up with a nasty knock-out blow by stating that this is a direct result of Drugs Inc, which makes more money from pushing harder substances. Then she delivers another two sharp blows to the falling body by alleging that (11 ‘. . . our laws have created crack, a concentrated form of cocaine, and skunk, a concentrated form of cannabis (marijuana), both of which are devastating’.   


6 She further criticize the US for failing to distinguish between recreational and problem users, alleging that the vast majority of people stick to recreational use of cocaine, ecstasy, and substances that even the Strategy Unit has classified as low-risk. She admits that there are of course tragic cases, but they are often caused by impure supply.


6 Annual deaths from drug use (about 2,000) Cavendish regards as miniscule compared with those related to alcohol and tobacco (about 160,000). She sounds a warning note that these figures may not be accurate, because of abuse by some people. However, it is arguable that the violence associated with the illegal drugs trade does more harm than the drugs themselves. Her appeal then is to choose the lesser of two evils.


6 Ultimately Cavendish comes to the nitty-gritty of the issue under discussion when she blames The United Nations for being the biggest barrier to progress. She says it is an irony to experience how their ideological war on drugs makes it almost impossible for countries to be pragmatic. For example, the UN has demanded that Portugal, which decriminalized possession, should recant. Yet, she says, Portugal has accepted the reality that in GDP terms, it is dwarfed by Drugs Inc, and as a result, it has seen crime fall.


6 In the final analysis the only way to make the streets safe, says Cavendish, is to wipe Drugs Inc off the map. And the only way to accomplish just that is to legalize drugs. That would be the most effective way to redraw the production map, because drug bosses from Colombia to Afghanistan would no longer find the drug trade so lucrative and rewarding.(12


3.0 The road ahead


3.1 The Cavendish bottom line encourages private drug production


To the Cavendish bottom line we can add that legalization would certainly see how marijuana and other drugs would be cultivated and manufactured in each and every backyard to supplement the income of citizens. This would of course, call for legislation to regulate the production, distribution and trade of a unknown number of straight and mixed adulterated and contaminated substances that could be bought along different legalized routes which have been out of bounds for a long time.


3.2 More taboos, prescriptions, criminal offenders, and fatalities


We might end up with more taboos and prescriptions and also with more offenders of criminal laws, patients, and fatalities that have to be investigated or treated for overindulgence than we have had before. One sultry and alarming consequence of the legalization of drugs is the expectation that thousands of school-going children and perhaps as many pre-school youths would begin to experiment with drugs across the board, ingesting fatal drugs, such as LSD and Crack Cocaine. But even if they decide on starting off with marijuana or any one of the lesser evils on the drug list, their brain capacity and learning motivation will fall by the roadside.


3.3  A major type of threat generated through victim-criminal interaction(13


This major type of threat generated through victim-criminal interaction has been explained in a paper called ‘A globalized drug-free world’ by the author as follows:  


The most appropriate example of a widespread, general victimization type of the third kind (the first kind being reflected by the routes followed from the demand to supply of drugs along legal and illegal means and pathways)

is given below.


3.4 Legal and illegal demand and supply of drugs on a micro (personal)

                     level and on a macro (commercial) level















3.5  A brief description of the various pathways



Micro-path One: from legal supply to legal demand


Legal doctor’s and pharmacist’s prescriptions are used by patients to procure drugs in a legal way.


Micro-path Two: from illegal supply to illegal demand


Drug lords, drug peddlers, and drug mules are contacted to procure drugs in an illegal way.


Micro-path Three: from legal supply to illegal demand


Drug addicts (even those who got addicted by using legal prescriptions) bribe or force doctors or pharmacists at gunpoint or by other means to supply them with drugs. (Note: in fact, it is not legally supplied, because the so-called legal suppliers of drugs succumb to illegal demands, thus becoming illegal suppliers.) Alternatively, illegal demands may lead to burglary, theft, corruption, extortion, blackmail, bribery, or robbery to satisfy the craving for drugs and the avoidance of withdrawal symptoms.


Micro-path Four: from illegal supply to legal demand 


Legal demands for drugs by desperately-ill patients can sometimes go awry when a doctor or pharmacist refuses to supply the drugs; whereupon the patient may decide to procure the drugs by a) holding up the suppliers at gunpoint; or b) buying the drugs from a drug peddler.



3.6 A brief description of two pathways on the macro level


Macro-path One: from illegal supply to legal demand


Recent media reports exposed a macro-path by means of which stolen medicines find their way to pharmacies (i.e. following an illegal path from a supply store to a legal demand store) from where they are distributed legally to patients, despite being long past their shelf-life.


Macro-path Two: from illegal demand to legal supply


Recent conjectures have it that illegal macro-paths had been created in the past by means of which medicines find their way from unspecified legal suppliers to the demand stores of unspecified illegal suppliers of drugs from where they were distributed legally to ‘customers’ and to retail outlets.



3.7 Need to preserve route one for conventional patients


Route one would still be open for patients who suffer from conventional complaints and illnesses assisted by medical doctors and specialists to get the necessary prescribed medication. 


3.8 Re-definition of other routes


Routes two, three, and four will have to be re-defined and authorized for entry by thousands of addicts. It would not be a viable proposition to allow them to join current medical schemes before an impact study has been made to gauge all the various consequences involved.



 4.0 In conclusion


In conclusion one feels desperate to state that whatever government-sanctioned drug policy would adopt the Cavendish line of reasoning, is sure to bring on more problems than answers to the current drug conundrum. Although the world at large has allowed our children the luxury of taking the rap for their actions and reactions and for the acts they do not commit, it would be unfair, at this stage at least, to push them overboard into the deep end of the drug-infested pool and to expect them from coming through the ordeal unscathed. 


We are still responsible for their health, well-being, and performance. Let it not be said one day that we were too lazy, too careless, and too lenient to guarantee a happy life for them.



5.0 References


1.0     Chinese proverb quoted by Rosalind Fergusson 1983-1995 in The Penguin

         Dictionary of Proverbs. Claremont Books. Middlesex: England. p. 142 ; also

          Paraphrase of a song by Elton John, originally dedicated to the life of

          Madonna, but afterwards to Princess Diana upon her tragic death


2.0     John Donne 1995 quoted by JM & MJ Cohen in The Penguin Dictionary of

         Quotations. London: Claremont Books. pp. 142-4


3.0    Record Moot. Friday March 21 , 2008. p.5 : statistics released in March 2008

        by the National Department of Health, the Medical Research Council, and

        the University of Pretoria, in a report titled ‘Every death counts’.


4.0    ibid


5.0     Jacques Oosthuizen, quoted by Werner Wapenaar. ‘ This drug becomes

         more and more popular by the day, for it may play a role in causing crime.’

        Beeld, Wednesday April 2, 2008. p. 4


6.0    ibid


7.0    Camilla Cavendish: ‘Cocaine from the chemist’ in The Times, London, quoted

         by Sunday Times, Lifestyle, March 16 , 2008. p. 10.


8.0    ibid


9.0    ibid


10.0   ibid


11.0   ibid


12.0   ibid


13.0  Van der Westhuizen, Jacob. ‘A Globalized Drug-Free World’ 2007 The BWW

        Society: Bibliotheque World Wide. pp. 2-4 



Jacob van der Westhuizen Pretoria, South Africa  © Finis

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