!Pasop!

Posted: March 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

Do I see myself as an active citizen? Well, in fact I believe each person must think of himself or herself as the guardian of the constitution and perhaps live its values in their homes. But Pasop! Not when its teeth are out for you.

I can’t follow what is more important in SA today. The changing of the judiciary into a ‘government toy?’ Or could it be the state protection bill? Is it maybe the failing of our education system? How about the race issue? It could also be the unemployment rate affecting the majority of the citizens. It might also be all of the above and many more.  It’s quite tricky to prioritise or follow with sustained attention. These are all disheartening issues that should perhaps be on every citizen’s mind.

Most of us appear to have missed the step in becoming active citizens. We all seem to have ignored or rather underestimated the depth of the chasm that we inherited. It seems so far, none of us has a clue on how to steer our country’s ship to the right direction. I have listened to many people I thought were influential. Most of them had nothing to offer except quoting Nelson Mandela. I have no problem with that except they seem to have no further ideas to add on. Hence, I find it misleading when the question is raised about what happens after Mandela.

Not that I have a foresight on the state protection bill outcome, but currently my vote on press freedom and the state information bill is 50% divided. It is sometimes appalling to read or hear what comes in the media. Twisted views and lack of competitive knowledge on how to solve the current state of the country is what I had detected. Still, I do not think the bill will come as a remedy for that cause.

My view is that we should pasop! To avoid the teeth that have bitten the entire continent, we need to become active citizens. We need to be the champions of our constitution that enshrines our social justice. We need to worry more about being proactive and channel our great participation in the right direction. Clearly eighteen years and still counting, something is not right. The youth needs to be enlightened and brought in the debates. Invest more in youth development curb the unemployment rate. Give more support to artists, entrepreneurs and build more schools with libraries.

 

*Pasop – Beware

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From the other Press

Posted: February 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

This article written by Pshasha Seakamela appeared in the Cape Times on 25 June 2010.

Last week we celebrated June 16 – Youth Day.  It seems we may need to repeat an important message – in the spirit and commemoration of the brave youth of 1976, the youth of today need to become the driving forces of reconciliation and transformation in South Africa. Only now, yout

h face the continuing struggle of achieving a better life for all. At the same time, South African’s older generation should not abdicate their responsibility to be a part of these ongoing efforts for change.

Prospects for unity brought about by the World Cup soccer tournament are in the minds and hearts of many South Africans at the moment. It is also important to remember that Youth Day has always been a commemoration of the activism of young people of all races. Writing in the Cape Times on June 15, education specialist Graeme Bloch recalls the protest marches of 1976 led by University of Cape Town students: “…So too UCT students marched blindly off campus when they headed towards the Cape Flats. Over 120 white UCT students were detained. The court roll shows most were 17, 18, 19 years old, while the oldest about 23.”

However, having attended numerous June 16 events myself, in the days that follow I often wonder about the noticeable apathy towards this day, particularly among white youth. It should not be regarded as a racist code for questioning why other racial groups are not participating together with the others. This day should be for all young people of South Africa, irrespective of their racial background and we should all actively participate and contribute constructively to the national debates and dialogue, on this day and beyond.

Young people of all races today should also follow in the footsteps made by the youth of the 1970’s by ensuring that they play a critical role in the development of the country. In the 80’s, movements such as South African Youth Congress (SAYCO), initiated by Congress of South African Students (COSAS), focused on organizing the non-student and unemployed youth, with the goal of unifying and politicizing progressive young people irrespective of race. It adopted the Freedom Charter, pledged to work closely with COSATU, and was affiliated to the United Democratic Front (UDF).

The Cape Youth Congress (CAYCO) also brought together a number of youth community groups with the aim of mobilising the youth sector under the banner of the UDF. These movements persisted despite the challenges and threats to activism under apartheid, and remained unified irrespective of race.

Currently, unified movements of this kind seem imperceptible in democratic South Africa. Today’s youth are in disarray, and not sufficiently conscious of their commonality in race. The youth of today should not forget they are free because in the past, young people made great sacrifices for future generations – this freedom has, in turn, brought about many opportunities.

At the moment the World Cup has ignited a spirit of unity among all South Africans. Let us use this opportunity as young people and citizens of this country and unite for a better future for all. Let’s commit ourselves to pursuing a society based on a life lived in harmony with oneself, others and the world around us, and acknowledging and encouraging the active participation and contribution of the youth in general.

South African youth have never been silent, and have always been active in the life of this nation. Let us trust that youth activism will not end, but will evolve to address the current challenges of transformation and nation-building. It will be our failure if we do not demand explanations from our leaders because we, as young citizens, are discontented with the state of our education and healthcare systems, service delivery, and levels of employment and job creation. It is our role to push government to renew and strengthen interventions to address these problems. This all depends on how unified we, the youth, of today become to challenge for transformation.

Reflecting on Youth Day during the World Cup, it is clear that South African is united around our national soccer team and the hosting of this event overall – collectively, we have great strength as a country.  Even in Uruguay’s defeat of Bafana Bafana on Youth Day, the gloomy mood that descended on the entire nation the following day showed our spirit of oneness even in defeat.

Questions can inevitably be asked about this phenomenon: is this sudden love for soccer just a matter of sweeping our differences under the carpet for foreign visitors? How far will our patriotic displays, as shown by all race groups during this tournament, go beyond the World Cup? Can we prolong this spirit and wave the flags of reconciliation and transformation, even after the end of the tournament?

Unless we commit to this collectively, we will miss an important opportunity to really make inroads into solving the challenges South Africa is confronted with today, together. There should be a demonstration that after 16 years of democracy, we did not only win the war against apartheid as a nation, but we can continue to work together for peace and reconciliation. Let’s use the inertia of the spirit of the World Cup to forge a unity of purpose to participate with one voice as the youth of South Africa.  We have found a start, let us continue with it.


Pov-Art-y

Posted: January 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

I’ve always strived to be good in my own terms. I remember while in high school some friends and I had this standing joke. If we didn’t know the answer to a question, perhaps didn’t know how to draw a cat, we would draw a rock with a tail. That meant the cat was behind the rock – and that would be written next to the sketch.

The above metaphor seems to be fitting with the situation the art-world finds itself in at the moment. Artists and creative people have always had the kind of skills needed to survive in the art-world.  That is just a myth though. Well, unless you are Damien Hirst, the wealthiest living artist in the world at the moment. The fact is many reputable artists continue to do general work to offset their real art habit. Unless artists are independently wealthy, they will have day jobs. That is the case in South Africa and perhaps in many other countries around the world.

People call themselves artists, but why do they do it? More to the point, why become a fulltime painter when you could make more money out of office work? Besides, the government in South Africa has more to deal with than just supporting artists. Artists are obliged to buy exhibition spaces and cover printing costs among other things in order to display their art – irrespective of whether they sell or not. It is in shifting miasmic times like these that a revolution should happen. Artist should begin to rewrite the rules of the game and change systems. Recently, came up a question whether artists are well supported in South Africa or not. The fact is, in South Africa job creation is a false idol. With such a high unemployment rate, art cannot be a priority. The artists’ future is about gigs and assets and art and an ever-shifting series of partnerships and projects. However, many of this pays the organizers more than the artists.

Gone are the days of self- motivation, pro activity, focus, passion and a burning desire to create something wonderful. Since art pays so little to the artists, mass production of less desirable (uninspired and dispassionate) and often worthless products are being created.  Artists need to shift the paradigms and create a revolution of positive new opportunities. They should organize projects and take control of how art is produced and displayed independently of existing structures and hierarchies. For example, this could be to start a gallery run by artists, starting a fanzine/ magazine or perhaps a blog to promote artists, organizing reading circles, start a studio with other artists, arrange an exhibition in public space and so on.

This is my feeling. For an artist to produce something, to get the art-world blood up, they first should feel appreciated. There needs to be paradigm shift in art galleries and more funds should go to artists rather than galleries in order to create a revolution of a new positive art world. Currently in South Africa, galleries and funders’ hid artists behind the rock – they pretend not to know who made the art piece hanged on their walls. (Currently in South Africa, galleries and funders are like the rock that keep artists from view making their art faceless commodities.)

Cooking Toyi-Toyi

Posted: December 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

  On December 16th, South Africa will be celebrating ‘Reconciliation  Day’. This day should be about unity. I believe we  should commemorate such occasions by striving to unite our youth – both black and white – in politics and beyond. The question is  how do we commemorate Reconciliation Day without being united?

In the past few months, I have noticed all around the world what united and outraged people can do. For example, in Italy demonstrators were united in their criticism of their Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. They spoke with a single voice. In the US, thousands of people of different genders and colours united to form a leaderless resistance movement ‘Occupy Wall Street’.  Similar occurrences were seen in France, Egypt, Spain, Syria, and so forth. However, here at home the failure of ‘Occupying Cape Town Movement’ did not come as a surprise to me. It seems certain issues that hamper our unity overshadow our views.

Seemingly, in South Africa black and white people do not share the same struggle. We do not share the same voice. In this city and the country in general, the majority of white people enjoy the privilege of private education, private medical insurances, private transport, secure jobs, etc. In fact, Cape Town looks like an apartheid museum. This city still bears the obvious scars of apartheid – the rich white and the poor blacks. It wasn’t a shock to notice the Occupying Cape Town Movement only attracting less than 200 people dominated by so-called ‘liberal whites’. However, one is still searching what the protest in Cape Town would be about – who should protest and who should not. Would it be a sit-in protest for this visible poverty or lack of housing? Open toilets, lack of employment or unequal distribution of income and wealth? By looking at the demographics of those who gathered at the Company’s Gardens on that day, I was not convinced the protest would be mostly about these issues. Was I naive to believe that the rich and the poor can unite in a revolt against the rich?

I believe that more prominent people need to speak out against the tyrants in government, high unemployment rate, poverty, unequal education, lack of housing, poor health system, and many other issues. However, that can only happen if our youth begins to share a commonality in fighting for their future together. Unlike Occupy Wall Street, the old generation of black and white in this country does not seem to share a common struggle. Day of Reconciliation should help resolve these issues, but still we view this day in black and white. The fact is blacks cannot reconcile alone, and the same is true for whites. The poor also cannot reconcile alone, and so cannot the rich.

I salute those who took part in the ‘Occupying Cape Town Movement’. It is not every day that you see such a number of whites and blacks outside one of the city’s main landmarks protesting together in South Africa. Not since the Black Sash Movement of the 80s. We should all no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of those in power. We should unite to get rid of this ‘fat-cats’ super rich political and economic elites that are at the root of this cancerous destruction of the country’s class and racial inequality. At the moment while other countries believe their protests are a complete success with people all singing with the same voice, ours is the opposite. Those with homes, refuse to protest with the homeless. Those employed, refuse to protest with the jobless.

There is no country more worthy of an uprising against capitalism than South Africa. Then again I cannot imagine a social movement in South Africa replacing capitalism, especially with the western terms such as ‘occupying movements’ led by the rich. So far I’d rather stick to more annoying but reliable toyi-toyi.

Permaculture

Posted: November 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

Pap, a South African’s national stable dish is more popular in Limpopo than Julius Malema. Then again maize is the largest locally produced field crop, and perhaps our most important source of carbohydrates. However there seem to be little or no consensus on priorities for agricultural and rural development.

Two months ago I had a chance to sit and chat with my grandmother who unfortunately we are going to burry this weekend at the age of 107 years old. The old woman complained that agriculture is not seriously taken as one of the major economic activities in rural South Africa anymore. Part of the blame she put on urbanization, the government and the climate change. “It doesn’t rain anymore like it used to. During our time, nearly everyone lived on agricultural farming, today hardly anyone does. Many people have left for the cities. Look, even birds and other wild animals are now forced to search for food close to our homes as a result,” she said.

Since the new democratic government took over in South Africa, rural development has been identified as one of the pillars on the their development agenda. However, currently much about farming and rural development seems to be dictated by events, such as the climate change, urbanization and perhaps even low government support for agriculture. The lack of basic infrastructure plays a significant part in the persistence of poverty as well.

While urbanization can sometimes reduce pressures on forests by the migration of rural residents to the cities, its disadvantage is that it’s killing rural farming labour. When I was still a young boy growing up in rural Moletjie – Limpopo Province, almost every family in the village used to cultivate maize. South Africa is the main maize producer in the Southern African Development Community. This is something that has been lost today, partly due to the reasons my grandmother mentioned. Today almost every person in this country eats pap (stable dish made of maize meal). It is sold in almost every food outlets across the country, e.g. KFC, Nandos, etc. With an affluent urban population eager for farming products, rural farmers have the opportunity to develop and serve a huge consumer base. Low government support forced urbanization, which in turn unfortunately meant people succumbed to consuming pap rather than growing and selling maize.

“We can no longer talk about permaculture (permanent and agriculture) which is a concept that combines environmental sustainability with food security, she said.” The future of rural farming is at risk. Permaculture has become a thing of the past. Like my grandmother said, permaculture integrates regionally indigenous plants, animals and humans into a closed-loop system where each element is able to supports the other. At the moment this rural close-loop system is crumbling.

I believe that, lack of support for small-hold agriculture and subsistence farmers mean they have no way to gain entry into the food value chains.  The bureaucracy involved in becoming an approved supplier to a supermarket, for example, is too complicated and costly for small rural farmers.  My grandmother didn’t know that.

Nature for sale

Posted: October 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

I know that nature has important cultural and spiritual values. However, nature today, like outdoor experiences, is packaged and sold like commodities. Who are the beneficiaries and losers from this setup? It seem humans have rights to destroy nature.

Nature is destroyed for short-term gains. Today hikes and Nature Reserves are designed to be as comfortable as possible to resemble a digital city life. On one trail there are hotels, tar roads, emergency telephones, and in the middle of the Nature Reserve, a shop. All this comes together as a package – nature as a commodity. Our forests are destroyed to accommodate our modern way of living. In South Africa, Nature Reserves offer conference facilities enabling delegates to have their conferences in a superb natural setting. Some conference venues are created even at the expense of blocking a river from flowing and stopping water supply to poor neighbouring villages. This infrastructure will happen even if it means some wild animals are denied water supply. Some community loses because a bit of an open space taken, or say goodbye to a place with wonderful flowers and good smell. The trees that are homes to the birds and other animals are bulldozed out of existence too. I start to remember Haiti’s disaster. Haitians suffered from devastating floods because there is little to hold the water back after the country virtually cut down all of its forests for fuel. It was also as a result of the country losing much of its topsoil due to erosion.

There are many sustainable outdoors practices that could limit commoditizing nature, in order to leave outdoor activities as natural as possible. It doesn’t matter whether people can get something out of the mountains and rivers, but still as nature these should be respected and protected. How about an idea that city should resemble a city and nature to remain as nature? Also, I think we often place all the blame on the multi-corporations companies, but we (those who care) are missing the point since the consumers enable those companies anyway. Lets go out of our way to foster respect for the environment and experience the natural world on its own terms. It will be a disaster for nature to accommodate the lifestyle of every human on earth without humans adapting to nature’s lifestyle. The intrinsic value of nature itself should allow us to wonder at its beauty and not to exploit it. Growing up in Limpopo I used to see village men and women praying for the rain to come. They used to select the biggest tree to pray underneath it. In the village, everybody respected and worshiped nature. Nature is their God and not even the chief is allowed to mess up with the forest. Nature is viewed as a common property that belongs to everyone. To this day, the village’s rule hasn’t changed – nature is not for sale and no one is allowed to fiddle with it.

There’s no need to struggle finding the value of nature by commoditizing it. We should rather make an assessment of what it would take for nature to support humanity if everybody lived this lifestyle. It is clear that so far our lifestyle is getting too much for our planet earth. Our forests contain potential medical compounds and the spiritual values, which we are destroying yet at the same time some of us want to make others to believe they are saving the environment.

Burden me!

Posted: October 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

Today in South Africa, a vast numbers of youth find themselves shouldering burdens too heavy for the average adult to cope with. If there’s anything to do, the country needs to provide job opportunities for its youth.

Looking at the recent revolution sweeping the Middle East and North Africa, I thought that perhaps gerontocracy culture might be another problem in this era. Well, I missed the point – leadership is a problem. Like in many countries – developed or not – South Africa’s best young minds will continue looking for a better life outside their borders where they think ability and merit mean something to them. Some claim that to get a job in South Africa today you need connections while those educated and skilled feel relieved because they feel less guilty for leaving the country to live a comfortable life abroad. Historical disadvantages continue to have an adverse effect on millions of the youth, particularly looking at the education and unemployment. HIV Aids and drug problem have since joined in. It is not surprising that most of the new HIV infections in South Africa affect mostly young people under the age of twenty-five.

Unlike some of the North African countries that are going through revolution to get rid of the old-age leaders, South Africa does not have a problem of gerontocracy culture. However, the conduct disorders from some of our government ministers constitute a heavy burden to the development of the country’s youth. Corruption and greed has surpassed the need to re-orient existing services to make them accessible and user-friendly particularly for the youth. Our young leaders have used their advantages to elevate the prospect of becoming millionaires by reaping from the mouth of those who voted them into power. Is it a dog-eat-dog type of situation? The need to encourage innovation has succumbed to bribes and corruption in the government tenders. Every week appears with its corruption tales. Meanwhile HIV-Aids and drugs continue cleaning up the frustrated youth – the hope of the country.

Be that as it may, its not HIV-Aids and drugs that destroy the youth – our leaders are. Does it ever cross their minds that raising educational outcomes and increasing employment levels would mean more opportunities for young people? Unfortunately what we see is the continuation to reward suspended, corrupt and underperforming directors. Companies increase the salaries of the senior staffs while in the process those at the bottom receive retrenchment notices. Who cares about the copper cables thieves when Gautrain and other latest developments are created for the elite few? Ubuntu has succumbed to pure greed.

England has recently experienced its fare-share of what the irate youth are capable of. The truth of the matter is that the unemployment youth are like a time-ticking bomb. Gerontocracy culture or not, South African leaders needs to offload this heavy burden of frustration from its youth.

Boneless Piracy

Posted: October 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

Music is known to accounts for the biggest share of illegal downloading in the world, followed by films and video games. Some South African experts in the music industry believe that, music piracy is one of the main reasons why young and upcoming local artists struggle to make a living as music artists.

‘Yet another South African music legend has died broke’ is a common headline often appears on the street posters. Counterfeiting is rife in many townships around Pretoria. Counterfeiting is a music copied and packaged to resemble the original as closely as possible. In Mamelodi young men can be seen standing on the side of the road everyday selling counterfeited CDs to passer-byes. Some of these boys believe since music is art it should be free but still they continue selling their counterfeits. These counterfeits can easily mislead the consumer into believing that they are buying a legitimate product. In their package they make sure the original producer’s trademarks and logos are often reproduced, which makes it difficult to notice the difference. Something I had also noticed from the double CD package brought by a friend on his trip from China. According to him, ‘pirating is so prevalent in China that legitimate stores sell pirated CDs.’ How sick is that!

Sometime ago, a biggest German site for illegal downloading of music and films was dismantled. Even the French president Nicolas Sarkozy took advice from show business friends to pass an anti-piracy Bill. This should perhaps make us believe the age of stealing music will be over and the time has arrived for everybody to go legit. Well, it’s not so simple. internet music pirates are currently moving away to new safe havens such as China to avoid prosecutions. It can’t be a surprise that most blank CDs are produced annually in China than anywhere in the world – indicating that Hu Jintao doesn’t give a damn about this. Which means the genie is out of the bottle. It also shows China is clearly a significant shift for pirates since they will be far from the reach of the western law enforcement.

It looks like it’s going to take more than just tactics of closing internet sites in our country to punish people. South African music industry need a serious thinking to plot the way forward to counter this. Experts should gather to discuss the impact and seek the wisdom for a potential solution. With the free Internet cables seems to be on the way to South Africa, illegal downloading of music and films will not cease. It will take more than Apple’s Digital Rights Management (DRM). Another technological masterpiece created by the late  Steve Jobs – an invisible layer of software that a bodyguard a computer file and limits what you can and can’t do with it.

 

Steel nature

Posted: October 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

I had to educate myself before 100 of us trek to Rocking the Daisies 2011 on a 60km two-day walk.  So among other things I’ve learned that some ten percent of the world’s flowering species are found in South Africa. This is the only country in the world with an entire plant kingdom inside its borders.

I’m not equipped with an extensive knowledge with regard to plants and flowers but on this journey I remembered the king protea and hoodia. King Protea is regarded as South Africa’s national flower and the largest of the proteas. This flower makes up an important part of the Cape floral region, a major global biodiversity hotspot and a Unesco World Heritage site. As a sport loving I also knew that the proteas also give their name to South Africa’s national cricket team. Hoodia gordonii – a leafless spiny plant with medicinal uses came to my mind too. I learned that its flowers smell like rotten meat and are pollinated mainly by flies. Hoodia was not on our 60km from Cape Town to Darling menu as can only be found in the Kalahari Desert. However, since it is known to suppress appetite when making long hunting trips by the Bushmen, I thought it could help in this journey. Thanks to the Fruit and Veg Company – we didn’t require hoodia’s expertise on this expedition. I remain curious about what this plant can offer though.

As we walk through some truly magnificent scenery that very few others have been able to enjoy first hand, I remembered that Shell Company is interested in extracting gas in the karoo. Should I believe that for exploring and extracting natural gas from underground layers of shale in the Karoo Shell has a best interest of the environment at heart? This oil worshipper has a long and sinister history of environmental destruction and human rights abuses wherever they go. I thought of the pictures I have seen of the Niger Delta. I have learned that to flare a natural gas is a practice that causes more greenhouse gas emissions than all other sources in sub-Saharan Africa combined. I’m not ready to appreciate a steel-made protea flower or walk on oil polluted land – and I will never be. That thought is morally damaging. Particularly when I look around the innocent of the Cape Nature reserve and busy appreciating the daisies – I gave thanks to Walking the Daisies initiative.

For most part of the first day we walked barefoot while helping to clean up the beach heading towards the west coast. I couldn’t complain since I remembered it is estimated that over seven million kids in South Africa walk to school barefoot in all weather conditions. Walking barefoot was to show my solidarity. Here I was, besides appreciating the environment I was also trying to raise support and awareness for the Bobs for Good Foundation and their initiative to donate a pair of brand new kicks to those needy children. I’m happy that my R150 application fee has helped someone to own a new pair of shoes. I may have left my fair share of footprints on this walk, but surely my carbon footprint is close to zero. This walk made me appreciate and become thankful to some of our guides who are botanists for giving us education regarding plants and flowers we passed on the way. I was also raising awareness for 350.org, a global grassroots campaign that rallies around the world to bring the message of climate change home and more importantly, to do something about it.

This walk made me realize that as South Africans we should stand together and protect not only our hard-worn democracy, but also this magnificent country that has been entrusted to our care. Things we take for granted are the things some can only dream of.

Life’s worth

Posted: October 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

I have always maintained that our police officers have the most dangerous policing job in the world. Perhaps there’s no other place in the world do we find the police facing hostile civilian population on a daily basis like in South Africa. Be that as it may, a life of a police officer in South Africa worth only few cents.

I’m talking about the recent payout to a family of a police murdered by a rugby player? Bees Roux pleaded guilty to drunk driving and culpable homicide for killing a Metro police Sergeant Ntshimane Johannes Mogale. He ridiculously apologised to the family of police for killing their breadwinner, and he was ordered to pay them R750 000 in compensation and that ensures he escape jail. Mind you this is despite killing not just a civilian but also a police officer. Is this what we believe police officers’ life worth? This is a travesty. It should occur that murders of police usually occur when they’re trying to stop a crime. In Roux’s statement, ‘Mogale had pulled Roux over for suspected drunk driving in the early hours of the morning. Roux admitted to have had few drinks at a nearby restaurant. However Mogale did not arrest him, but took a bottle of whiskey out of the rugby player’s car and gave to two of his colleagues in their car. Mogale then got into the driver’s seat of Roux’s car and aggressively demanded the PIN number of his bankcard before driving with him to an unknown destination. According to Roux, it was clear to him that Mogale was on a criminal frolic of his own. He killed Mogale because he feared for his life.’

What a bullshit story! It is ridiculous for a judge to fall for that and perhaps this case deserves a better investigation and a better judge. If Mogale was a criminal frolic as Roux said then he could have used his gun. What kind of a criminal get killed with bare hands while on duty and carrying a gun? Mogale was a police officer trying to do his work – he didn’t deserve to die. Did the judge think of that? I smell something rotten in this case. Besides all, Roux got away with somebody’s life and happy to pay shit money for it.

Of course police officers represent the rest of us, and therefore an attack on one of them should be considered an attack on the security of the whole society. I also understand that the perpetrators of such crimes deserve to be punished more severely. What makes Roux’s case deserve such a lenient sentencing even after he confessed? I’m not here campaigning for death penalty or playing race card. However I’m trying to imagine this scenario happening the other way around – a black civilian killing a white police officer. Do I have to believe that a widow or even a family of a murdered white police will be happy to be settled with such a ridiculous sentencing? Even some of the white community in South Africa will be up in arms demanding harsh punishment. In this case there has been a tragedy and a death, as well as a great loss to family, friends and the community in general. It’s scares me to think this is a price tag for the life of a black policeman in South Africa. You can guess the sentencing for killing a white police officer.

This case makes me think that the police deserve danger pay in addition to this paltry salary. They deserve subsidized housing and they deserve much better base pay.  It is ridiculous to think of the entry-level constable wage. Is that even money? Perhaps all this is doing is giving them more reason for corruption – something a judge fell for. Our police deserve a far better life than this. If life is our personal, private possession then, as with any other personal, private possession, the individual has the right to dispose of it as he or she chooses.