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OPINION: A country that has lost control

It starts with a mention that pops up in your Twitter feed... 'Hi @CindyPoluta..... Could this possibly get a RT'. You click on the picture of a beautiful girl with a warm smile. Quickly run through the presented facts, 28 years old (too old to be running away from home), just married (happiness), school teacher (stable job), last seen waiting for her lift.

All seems legit, and it is just one RT, won't harm anyone to forward this on, perhaps someone knows something and clearly her friends and family are desperate. #FindJayde.

Hours later you open Facebook, and now it's a little closer to home because this is someone's cousin's wife, or a family friend or someone's colleague. This time she's at her wedding, same warm smile, same woman staring at you, with the please 'please share this picture', and you do so without much thought before continuing to scroll through pictures, jokes and random status updates about supper. Log off. Carry on with your day. Your life.

Soon the news trickles in, that police think they have found 'her body' - you know, the girl from Facebook and Twitter, from PE, that pretty school teacher, the one with the surname that's hard to pronounce and the warm smile.

The hashtag changes to #RIPJayde and you're sharing pictures of candle vigils at the school where she taught, tributes, memories, stories.

You're on social media again, now sharing the one picture the police have issued. The one of the man at the ATM using #RIPJayde's bank card to withdraw money. Surely, someone, somewhere will see this picture and turn him in.

Your attention is drawn to another story that 'may interest you', according to Facebook: in Braamfisherville, a mother Charlotte Ramohai, gunned down in the driveway of her daughter's school. Hijacked. Murdered in front of her son. Another massively warm smile. A bright red hat. A bright future.

You go through the stories in your mind, you question your own daily routine and perhaps make some changes to ensure your own personal safety. I must be more aware, I must not stand alone.... I must....

Days will go past, you talk with family and friends about 'that poor teacher who was murdered in PE' and 'did you hear that hijacked mother was pregnant?'. #GoneTooSoon. Your heart aches. You talk about how 'life is too short' and that 'crime in the country is getting so bad'. And then it just becomes too painful to talk about it and the other depressing stories dominating the headlines.

It will console you to march in protest to a local police station, or to sign a social media petition to bring back the death penalty. You will continue to sporadically hear the names on the radio, until they are laid to rest; and if their families are 'lucky' and they catch the killers, you will recall the names and be reminded of their stories on the days of court hearings.

But nothing will change.

Social media will witness an outpouring of 'rage' and 'too tragic' and 'what is wrong with this country'. #JusticeForJayde #iPrayForSA #RipCharlotte.

But nothing will change.

A mayor or an MEC or a women's rights group may stand up and preach about safety. Launch a clampdown on fire arms.

But nothing will change.

Perhaps, extra police will be brought in and a special unit will be set up to #CatchJaydesKillers #StopTheMurder #WhoKilledSenzo.

But nothing will change.

The reward for any successful tip-offs will escalate, the police swear they will catch the killers.

But they won't, and nothing will change.

Perhaps we should sit down with the Panayiotou, Romohai and the Meyiwa families and the thousands in this beautiful country, who will no doubt all be praying for a long-term solution. A solution that could provide some consolation, that their children did not die in vain.

You may label me a pessimist. I would prefer the term realist.

I work hard for my money, which may/may not be stolen from me. I have paid tax on my earnings. That tax which is supposed to, among other things, go into a sustainable solution on how to halt senseless crime and ensure I remain alive and #ProudlySA. It is my right to know what the long-term plan is.

We will continue to hit RT or share when it comes to searching for missing loved ones, or spreading clear CCTV pictures of lawbreakers. Anything, to try and help catch these heartless thugs. But it won't.

And nothing will change.

It feels like the country has spiraled out of control. What is the long-term plan? All suggestions most welcome.

Cindy Poluta is the EWN Sport Editor in Johannesburg. Follow her on Twitter: _ @CindyPoluta_