The country cries

A mere few days after Oscar Pistorious is sent to prison for actions which included a firearm South Africans are reeling at another sport star in the news because of gun violence. Unfortunately, this time, the violence was fatally directed at him.

Bafana Bafana Captain, Senzo Meyiwa, has become another victim of the senseless violence we have in this country. People across South Africa, and even internationally, are saddened by this tragedy. A young talent and leader taken in his prime.

Everyone is sad, and everyone is on it. I agree that we should be and this has shaken me more than I would imagine. I think my reaction is two fold 1) A know South African son has been taken. As I’ve said before, famous South Africans “belong” to us and we take pride in their achievements. It’s horrible that an icon has been brought down and we will certainly mourn his passing. 2) A massive reward is being offered and the countries top detective will investigate. Which is fair enough, but I can’t help but be torn apart on behalf of all other “anonymous” South Africans who have also suffered to violence and murder this weekend and weekends and weekdays previous, and who will not get this type of backing and attention.

While Senzo’s death has brought a lot of attention to crime and violence I only hope that this man hunt will propel forward the bigger debates and bigger long terms actions against the core issues: Availability of illegal weapons, crimes against women, the desperation of the youth, unemployment, the hate that festers in some hearts. A hate we can not seem to manage and abate. People do not just want to rob out of desperation (something which I can actually sympathise with BTW) but they also want to kill. My stuff I can replace but I can not replace my friends and family. Leave our lives intact please.

At a press conference at the South African Football Association there was mention of a Senzo Meyiwa law which will help address these questions. I just hope this tragedy will have the follow through required to eventually lead to a positive difference

In the meantime, South Africans are just going to have to be sad and lock ourselves into our homes even more tightly. Sigh.