Johannesburg. A young teacher greets her class. The learners stare. Her face is mottled with bruises. Meanwhile, Themba endures another day as a security guard, stationed on a block in the posh Northern Suburbs, a coil of wasted energy. Just like the gargoyles that face him across the street, he is merely a symbolic deterrent. By day, he plays the role of protector; by night, he is the threat. Themba relies on crime to supplement his meager income. He steals to give his younger brother the life he himself could never have. His transgressions enable him to provide the opportunities the child needs to be successful in the new South Africa. But crime affects everyone, and his “sacrifice” leads to a devastating discovery.