Thursday, December 13, 2007

A strange case of vigilante justice

The Ghanaian daily papers report on instances of vigilante justice happening almost very day. Usually, it is some crime or theft - mainly cell phones or wallets - the alleged criminal gets caught and the surrounding mob that seems to mysteriously materialize out of no where, in a sense of avenged justice deals out the 'just deserts'.

It's a bit frightening really as in some cases the alleged criminal wasn't the criminal - just a case of mistaken identity - deliberately or otherwise. One such case happened a couple months ago where a mob basically beat to death a man that was carrying a body in his car. Due to the non-availability of a hearse, he was carrying the body of his mother-in- law to the morgue. The crowd, suspecting him of intending to use the body for fetish rituals, actually pulled him out of the car and beat him to death.
Over the past months, different personalities have cautioned the public about taking the law into their own hands, but the trend still continues.

The strangest account though appeared in one of the papers this week. A man was walking some where in Kumasi when he happened to accidentally bounce into another man. The 'bouncee' (i.e. the person that was bounced) then let out an alarm that the 'bouncer' on hitting into him had actually caused his penis to shrink! Within a matter of minutes a crowd had gathered ready to lynch the bouncer! Luckily, the police stepped in and saved the bouncer from certain death. Just to make sure through they did carry the 'bouncee' to the hospital for a medical check of his privates to ensure that all was normal size. Hmmm. To give them credit they also did a mental check too. Well the report ends with the 'bouncee' and his friend being arrested for causing public mischief.

I am still wondering why on earth would a crowd :
(a) readily believe that a penis can be shrunk immediately if the owner is mistakenly bounced;
(b) actually attempt to lynch a man on basis of such an allegation.

Under different circumstances, I am sure a penis will change size based on a bounce or two, but walking along the road - PLEASE!
Additionally, being the skeptic I am, I would have to see the evidence - before and after - to ascertain if it had indeed shrunk.

Note to self - will keep a careful watch out for my shrinking body parts next time I am in a crowd.

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