10:54 PM

the paradox of our times

The murder of Lucky Dube has captured the attention of most South Africans, albeit overshadowed by the Rugby this week, but the botched hijacking has undoubtedly created waves. In a crime-ridden country, somehow people react with shock, as if these homegrown heroes are immune to the disease that hangs over our heads everyday. Some have gone to the extent of collecting money, up to R50 per person to send to Dube’s family as to ‘assist them’ at this time of mourning. His murder has come at a time of extreme tension surrounding the government puts our president in a questionable light as to his hiring and firing tactics and the double standards that he proudly defends, making it ever so clear that nobody is safe. It has highlighted the height of crime – and that may be the one positive thing that has emerged from the incident. However, I find it strikingly unfair that ordinary citizens are overlooked in this regard and become statistics or temporary 10 line articles which demand little attention from police, while Dube’s case saw 15 officers working overtime to bring in suspects. What escalates the paradox here is the collection of money for his family. Of course this must be a period of devastation and grief, but surely they do not need monetary assistance compared to the scores of poor disadvantaged people or people who are gunned down everyday. What happens to their hospital or burial expenses? Don’t they require just as much state attention and funding for something that was no fault of theirs, but which they have to live with the rest of their lives? No doubt a Lucky Dube album’s release now would rake in the cash, so why not send a sympathy card instead of throwing cash where there’s cash already? The St Tropez murder yielded a similar reaction regarding media attention and the march against crime for S.A in England. As if the stats are not enough- and they seemingly aren’t, isn’t it sad that only when somebody well-known and well off is killed, does it reach the press and spark off an outcry? Don’t get me wrong, im not saying we shouldn’t react at all or be unsympathetic, but if violent crime is increasing, we should expect these things. At a time when SA is trying to generate investor confidence and international integration, Devils’ Advocate might pose the notion that if such murders of high profile people take place and they are highlighted to attract global attention, it could negatively impact on the economy via degrading perceptions of key players that could spur on SA’s progress in the international arena. That way, government would be compelled to actively enforce measures to lower the crime rate. Their objectives of halving unemployment and poverty may only minimally reduce crime in time for 2010, however, white collar crime may increase with businesses expanding and more people entering the formal economy. It seems our priorities are quite diverted when it comes to what gets attention in this country. And while we celebrate being champions of the world, I wonder how many soon-to-be statistics are fighting the battle to stay alive right now.


!Joe! said...

i wanna be famous...then if/when i get killed i will achieve a notoriety equivalent to that of james dean's death, my case will be solved quickly and my family will get the support they need. I need to go for more auditions.

SingleGuy said...

hey Q....in total agreement on all points. Also, Lucky's Album sales are gonna go through the roof now, his next of kin are fairly sorted if they invest wisely.

qdee said...

aww joe, you dont think about the consequences of that! what me gonna do sonder jy?

singleguy: very true! hmm..shares in vodacom perhaps?

Bibi-Aisha said...

True. But such is life. I can't stand the fact actors,singers ,sportstars get paid the obscene amounts they do and are idolised by people. They make the news, pushing items of importance out. But then, proximity and popularity make the news. It would be impossible,however, to cover every murder,crime in the media. In this sense, i dont have a problem with a 'celebrity's' death being publicised. If people want to donate cash,that's their prerogative, as ridiculous as it is. Yes,publicity of crime does scare investors, but we can't hide the reality either

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