The South African news has been full of one thing today, and it’s not a nice thing. It’s not something I want to blog about either, and so I was about to wander elsewhere on the internet, disappointed that our local rags had provided naught on the blog fodder front when suddenly – and brace yourselves here – this:
Not even the horrific kerning on the News24 website could take the shine off a headline like that.
(Although it clearly tried.)
Now, before we go any further, let’s just run through those fourteen words one more time, shall we?
A poet – not just any poet, but specifically a Christian poet… harassed by Whatsapp groups – not just any WhatsApp groups, but specifically porn WhatsApp groups… by a rabbit farmer – not just any rabbit farmer, but specifically a ‘mentally challenged’ rabbit farmer.
Let’s start off by saying that harassment in any form is unjust and uncalled for. In investigating this story, I’m certainly not meaning to trivialise or tacitly justify harassment. Especially not by porn WhatsApp groups – long renowned as one of the worst forms of harassment.
Alleged victim of this alleged harassment comes in the form of Martie Wessels, a published Christian poet who sums up her book thus:
“Maar gaan dit alles tog werklik uitwerk? Niemand van ons kan dit regtigwaar weet nie, want ons is almal maar net grassade in die wind en ons sweef maar net waarheen die wind ons neem.”
“But will everything really work out? None of us can rightly know, because we are just grass seeds in the wind, and we float wherever the wind takes us.”
Anyway, the harassment came about by her being (presumably accidentally?) added to a pornographic Whatsapp group. Now, I am the member of many Whatapp groups, but there’s none of that kind of stuff going on on there. The most racy it gets is perhaps a joke about [redacted] having a small penis. It’s tiny, apparently. But I digress. There’s certainly nothing that would make me go on a witch hunt and publish the names of the other participants in the conversation on Facebook, even if Martie’s assertion is partly true for the Molton Brown boys:
“Everyone involved is surely possessed by some or other devil, because the pictures exposing your bodies indicate to me that you are sick in your brains.”
I’d also never go that far if I knew – as Martie apparently does – that the instigator of the groups was:
“a woman described as ‘mentally challenged’, who is a rabbit farmer and who lives in a caravan in the Pretoria area.”
That’s the sort of person you want to stay on the right side of. Not someone you want to piss off. One night, there’s a knock at your door and the next thing, they’re finding your ribcage – stripped of all flesh, and covered in gnaw marks – in a hutch in Gauteng.
Also, just how easy must this woman be to identify? We’ve got her location, her abode, her employment and her mental state. Oh, and her photo, because:
On Wessels’ Facebook page, a composite picture of this woman, surrounded by several rabbits, can be seen.
I did go and look (well of course I did), but Martie has upped her privacy settings to the max, probably due to being by harassed by porn WhatsApp groups run by a ‘mentally challenged’ rabbit farmer (who lives in a caravan in the Pretoria area).
Wessels said she was told by one person that the purpose of the groups was to “raise funds” for the rabbit farmer.
“But to raise funds in this way is ridiculous,” she said.
Look, we all know that rabbit farming isn’t easy. And the uncertainty about expropriation without compensation is a spectre lurking behind every agricultural business at the moment.
But why did they pick Martie to add to their depraved online messaging community? Look, I’ve kept this bit of information to myself until now, but Martie lives in the Northern Cape. In a town called:
It’s clear that when Cyril and Julius come knocking for her land, our erstwhile porn Whatapp group-leading, mentally challenged rabbit farmer will need somewhere new to park her caravan and somewhere new for her leporine charges to live. And if you have rabbits to home, you surely need somewhere with a ton of warrens for them to live in.
How do you think Marties hometown got its name?
Exactly. Checkmate, doubters.
I mean, just do the maths.
It’s pretty straightforward stuff, Sherlock.
But still, I’m with Martie here: exactly how do you raise funds for a mentally challenged rabbit farmer by sending naughty photos to a WhatsApp group? I’ve sold images (no, not those kind of images) on Adobe Stock, and let me tell you, what I’ve earned would barely buy a bag of carrots from PicknPay.
Maybe I’ve been doing it wrong.
So what happens now? Well, since Martie has gone public with this amazing tale, the threats have thankfully evaporated. But that wouldn’t be a fitting end to this sort of bizarre story.
No, what you need to have to finish things off is just a hint of continuing weirdness. Cue the last line from the News24 article:
Wessels made a statement at the Warrenton police station, which was confirmed by a Captain Moleko, who would not provide his first name to News24.
Did they need to know his first name? Why was he unwilling to provide it? Why did we need to know that he was unwilling to provide it? Is it of any significance that the first four letters of his surname make up another burrowing mammal? Haas the world gone completely mad?
I am sure that you are looking forward to the follow-up article on News24 as much as I am.