Christi van der Westhuizen
Christi van der Westhuizen

The Oscar Pistorius case: Time magazine is wrong, Lulu is right

Two mainstream media companies have turned the Oscar Pistorius case into an opportunity to ruminate on the perils of post-white rule.

Time magazine and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) have both in their recent coverage used Pistorius’s defence to weigh in on the South African “culture of violence”. It is notable that these media companies have their roots in countries forged through violent processes of colonialism at about the time when the colony that became South Africa was being settled, also through violence.

In contrast to South Africa, the settlers in Australia and the United States largely managed to obliterate the indigenous people who occupied those lands. When South Africa shifted into an intensified mode of white domination called apartheid, the US and Australia were slowly letting go of their own schemes of white domination, partly due to resistance by African Americans, the descendants of imported African slaves (US), or to the indigenous people having been thoroughly vanquished (Australia).

Agitators for social justice in those countries have struggled over decades to combat white supremacism and its effects. But, while outright racism still exists, it has been augmented with more insidious forms of racist discrimination. The result is that black people in those countries still bear the brunt of socio-economic deprivation, as a cursory glance at the human development indicators for Aboriginal people and African American and Native American people in Australia and the US, respectively, would show.

Perhaps one should therefore not be surprised that Australian and US media purveyors of dominant messages would latch onto Pistorius’s improbable account of what happened on February 14 in his luxury security complex when he killed Reeva Steenkamp.

The undisputable facts of the case are that a man killed a woman at home. It exemplifies a particular crime trend: most women who die from homicide in South Africa, die at the hands of an intimate partner. This happens every eight hours in this country.

Rather than focusing on the facts of the case, Time and ABC have opted for the “black peril” story — as the Time.com video puts it, against a visual backdrop of black male protestors and squatter huts, “white fear of a black menace”. This is derived from the claims of Pistorius’s legal team, which is insisting — obviously — that he was acting defensively.

Instead of telling the multitude of stories of perpetrators within homes, male criminals within families who end lives in enactments of a masculinity predicated on domination, especially Time tells its readers about the criminal “out there”. It is a racialised criminal, the black threat to harmonious white living.

Time and ABC’s combinations of facts and images conjure a white man’s burden, as per Pistorius’s defence: he has to fend for his home and “his family” against the murderous (black) man “out there”.

The ABC news insert nods in the direction of facts on femicide but still arrives at a crude racial conclusion. A voice-over by “correspondent Ginny Steyn” declares: “While it is assumed that poverty is the cause of much violence, Pistorius’s case shows in South Africa violent crime is not limited to the poor or only committed by impoverished blacks against wealthy whites.”

The assumption of the unnamed, all-knowing (white) surveyor of crime is poor+black=violent — an assumption momentarily interrupted by Pistorius’s killing of Steenkamp. Why suggest that criminals are black and victims are white when poor people and black people are victims of violent crime on a daily basis?

Why suggest that whiteness and wealth are opposites to violence, with Steenkamp’s murder as mere aberration, when a number of outrageous post-apartheid instances of gender and race-based violence and violations have been perpetrated by white men? Think Waterkloof Four, Reitz Four, Skielik shooter Johan Nel and Mark Scott-Crossley from Hoedspruit. At least two court cases are currently in progress: Johan Kotze from Modimolle and Johan de Jager from Kraaifontein.

The Time article, purporting to make its readers “understand South Africa”, trots out reams of statistics about race, poverty, gun homicides, burglary (“the most feared crime”) and Gauteng (“where Pistorius lives”), as a concentration point for these elements. South Africa’s staggering femicide figure remains the unmentionable.

Steenkamp’s body is used one more time to sensationalise the opening lines of the article with direct references to the wounds she suffered — apart from that, the Time article is all about the long-suffering but ever vigilant white man (“Man, Superman, Gunman”, as the cover proclaims).

In the Time.com video promoting the magazine article on Pistorius, the editor of Time International, Jim Frederick, states that South Africa is “a place where crime is really very rampant”, with an image of a squatter camp shown at that moment. He then alleges, without reference to evidence: “especially whites are taking up arms to defend themselves”.

He further declares that Pistorius “thought there was an intruder in his home which, if you look at the violent history or the violent culture of Africa, without making any claim one way or another, is at least a plausible claim”. The images that flash during this statement are of black male protestors with a burning vehicle and a burning building behind them.

Frederick’s disclaimer is rendered void as Time’s whole take on Steenkamp’s murder is based on Pistorius’s defence. His claim is “plausible” due to the “violent culture” of some amorphous entity called “Africa”. This cliché erases history (“Africa”=violent, finish and klaar) and, along with the decontextualised images, effectively suggest black=violence=chaos. This is what the lone but righteous white man is up against in his biologically programmed quest to defend himself and his possessions (read: girlfriend).

No questions are asked about the kind of masculinity that Pistorius was egged on to represent. The sickening irony of his sponsor Nike’s advertisement calling him “the bullet in the chamber”, with the sound of a gun being cocked, passes unnoticed.

Contrast this treatment of the violent white man with the outcry following Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana’s statement to ABC that “young Afrikaner men are brought up in the Calvinist religion believing that they own a woman, they own a child, they own everything and therefore they can take that life because they own it”.

The Afrikanerbond, AfriForum and Freedom Front Plus are incensed at Xingwana’s appraisal of the reasons for femicide and family murders, for which Afrikaners have historically been notorious. Indeed, so incensed that they have momentarily forgotten to pretend to represent anything but white Afrikaner masculinist interests.

Journalists also climbed in to get their pound of flesh: “loopy Lulu”, one article trumpeted. Xingwana’s statements throughout the years, whether you agree with her or not, every now and again exhibited a measure of political analysis not to be found in the many discriminatory statements made by President Jacob Zuma. No one is calling him “zany Zuma”, though.

But it is easy to lambast black women. They have after all the least social power in this society of ours. (Witness the responses to Mamphela Ramphele’s plans to start a new political party. Not even Mbhazima Shilowa was subjected to such vitriol, despite mostly destroying what could have been a significant opposition party.)

The reactions to Xingwana’s utterance (eg it is “an extreme verbal attack on the integrity of Afrikaners” and “a sign of religious intolerance”) suggest that Afrikaner men and religious doctrine are both above criticism.

Given the widely promoted predilection for forgetting, we have forgotten that a particular interpretation of Calvinism underpinned the Christian nationalism that drove the project of apartheid. Moreover, as theologian Christina Landman has written, “local Calvinism was as sexist as it was racist” (see an excerpt from the article here).

This local form of Calvinism, which still grips gender relations in Afrikaner families, dictates that “part of the salvation of the soul was the subordination of the female body to male rule, both in intimate spaces and the church”, as Landman finds. This explains resurgent collaborations between Afrikaner women and men to reinstall “the Afrikaner man” as “king and priest” of the household, as currently promoted in congregations such as Moreleta Park Dutch Reformed Church.

While Xingwana is condemned, the same critics fall over their feet to defend white Afrikaner men — the group that benefited most from apartheid. Their manoeuvres dovetail nicely with Time’s efforts at deflecting culpability in the Pistorius case away from masculinity and onto blackness.

Thus it is ensured that the hard questions are shut out: the questions about an entitled, damaged and damaging masculinity that seeks to claw back power through violence.

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    • http://southafricana.blogspot.com Dave Harris

      How refreshing to read such an intelligent and candid analysis of this sad case of domestic violence, which has been needlessly sensationalized blown out of all proportion by the usual suspects to once again peddle white supremacy. Thank you Christi!!

    • Momma Cyndi

      Christi,

      Pistorius is neither Afrikaans nor Calvinist.
      All religion is about making women into nothing but jumped up slaves. Religion is man made so it is a male thing, not a god thing.

      Anyone (here, there or anywhere) that thinks violence is purely determined by race, religion or social standing should be labeled as ‘mentally disabled’. Taking American tabloid journalism seriously is also foolish.

    • Truman Capote

      I think there is a bit too much ‘strawman invention’ here about the good old SA race issue. The Time article hardly included all the themes described here. People in SA tend to read ordinary articles much like Marxist theorists used to ‘deconstruct’ any writing from scientific journals to the labels of food products. Not all ideas need to be shoehorned into a particular paradigm. Some valid points however.

    • Etienne Terblanche

      Dear Ms Van der Westhuizen,

      You have taken the rhetorical skill of making unlikely links to buttress your viewpoint to new heights and depths, and I’m sure you’ll garner the necessary controversial mileage from it to advance your spectacular career. I can only admire you for your performance: I’ve never seen anything like it.

    • http://thoughtleader.co.za/sandilememela Sandile Memela

      Dear Christie :-)
      Thank you very much for a profound, insightful and incisive article.
      Neither time nor shouting will dispute the fact that South Africa – just like Australia and America – was found through violent theft, robbery and murdering of indigenous people. It is a system that perpetuates itself and prevails to this day and hour.
      We live in a society steeped in structural violence that is manifested in racism, sexist, white supremacy and patriarchy.
      The armed white man is boss in this land!
      I shudder to think how this Pistolrius story would have unfolded if, indeed, his victim was a black male. Despite the fact that nobody has the right to kill as death penalty – even in self defence – is outlawed in this country, there is no doubt that he would have been heralded a hero.
      White men – especially those who have guns – and some blacks, too, have armed themselves in the name of self-defence against black males. The guns are always pointint at the black head and heart. This is a violent society.
      Also, you are correct about the violent nature of patriarchy. Not only does it reduce women to male chattels, but culture is used to justify this anti-woman and sexist behaviour.
      I wanted to say, thank you for saying Lulu is not ‘loopy’ but right. I am a man and did not have a problem with what she said. People must not distract our focus or deflect the truth by focusing on HOW she said it.
      We may disagree with what or how she says her truth but she too has freedom…

    • http://thoughtleader.co.za/sandilememela Sandile Memela

      Even Lulu too has a right to freedom of expression. We have to learn that there will only be freedom of expression when we defend the right of those who tell uncomfortable truths. The knee jerk reaction to shout down Lulu not only because she is a black woman but some people disagree with what or how she speaks her truth is an unwelcome development. Play the ball and not the woman!
      Your article is a poignant reminder that unless women – especially from the Afrikaner community – speak up, there will be very little progress in efforts to not only undermine and ultimately destory patriarchy but fight sexism and male domination.
      The facts and truths expressed in your piece are extra-ordinary. They illuminate the depth and breadth of the legacy of violent colonialism and deeply embedded culture of male domination and violence.

    • Genghiz

      I grew up in a small town filled to the brim with guys like the Waterkloof and Reitz four. I don’t have to know their names or their faces to know who they are. Their behaviour is the only identification I need.

      I’m a white, Afrikaans male. And Xingwana, at least in this instance, is right.

    • The Creator

      I don’t think that Lulu is exactly right; rather, you can say that she has a point, because the authoritarian, patriarchal tendencies in Calvinism segue into the kind of approach which Pistorius seems to have shown towards women. (Not that he’s likely to be a committed Christian, despite his appeals to Christian language.)

      But then, this is also to a great extent true of Catholicism, Judaism, Islam and most animist religions, so Lulu’s hardly fair in singling out Calvinism as the root of the evil.

      As for TIME being wrong, so what else is new?

      Not a bad article, though, in all fairness, Ms. VD Westhuizen.

    • Comrade Koos

      Brilliant analysis Christi. I will read it again later.

    • Grant

      Christi – You are correct, there is much hypocrisy around the issue and stereotypes abound. The Pistorius case is much more about a gun crazy, unstable celebrity gunning down his wife than about our greater political scene. In addition, the fact that there is a strong patriarchal element in parts of Afrikaner society that leads to woman being viewed as inferior or less important than men and a source of violence and discrimination against women is also completely accurate. Also accurate is that you get white monsters out there that are violent and aggressive people. No arguments there.

      Where I think you possibly stray too far in search of support for your views is when you state that Zuma is somehow afforded protection from his gaffes for being male while Xingwana is ridiculed by the press as a woman. Zuma is lampooned mercilessly as he should be; he gets no respect from the media. Xingwana made racially biased statements about Afrikaners but conveniently forgot that there are few societies on earth more violent or patriarchal than the traditional Zulu or Xhosa. That is the chief source of the outcry, NOT that she got it wrong with the Afrikaner but that she conveniently forgot to include black men in her assessment who are equally challenged when it comes to respecting women. She played the race card in an attempt to unfairly demonise whites only while representing our country internationally. She deserves a good media wallop.

    • judith brigg

      Great article. So true that the Calvinistic patriarchy promotes ‘obedience’ by women and allows ‘punishment’ of women. This is an issue that needs to be out there.

    • Grant

      I would also be cautious about completely dismissing the claim that Time showing an image of black males when discussing whites arming themselves is grossly inaccurate. It is poor journalism, again grasping at stereotypes and possible assumptions from their own biases BUT the truth in South Africa is this: as a white person, you are highly unlikely to be held up in your home or hijacked at gun point by another white person. This is an uncomfortable fact and there are a myriad mitigating factors from apartheid to simple demographics but it remains a fact. It is therefore not misleading to make this connection but rather it is politically incorrect since we know about said mitigating factors and there is a bigger picture. It is a truth vs what we want the truth to be. It is irresponsible and misleading ONLY from the looking forward viewpoint and not from current reality.

    • Lesego

      I love the fact that this piece was written by an Afrikaner woman of which it somewhat earns some credibility points, at least in my books. Besides, I also thought Lulu uttered some bitter truth though obviously what she said would be countered by a Calvinist might.

    • Mack Nyati

      A very objective analysis, indeed…

      “…so incensed that they have momentarily forgotten to pretend to represent anything but white Afrikaner masculinist interests.”

    • a survivor

      Thank you for voicing what many have been outraged at reading. Reeva is the victim, not Oscar.

    • Sipho

      “Think Waterkloof Four, Reitz Four, Skielik shooter Johan Nel and Mark Scott-Crossley from Hoedspruit. At least two court cases are currently in progress: Johan Kotze from Modimolle and Johan de Jager from Kraaifontein.”

      All you can come up with? This is proportionately nothing when looking at the big South African picture.

    • Tofolux

      @Christi, thank you for your honesty. At least now we can agree that the point of departure is fact. Thank you.

    • Lauretta Nakana

      It is in all sense a common trend for the media to over sensationalise stories in order to appeal to audiences – yet this misfortune births consequences. Times & ABC’s portrayal of the Black man as an instigator of violence (on the White man), shows an unwillingness to see progressive change, acceptance & growth of all races. Racism continues to be the backdrop of every story told – even when scenes change, like in the case of Pistorius killing Reeva. Point is, a life was lost & families were broken!

    • Alida

      Well founded, clear arguments, Christi. Thanks for a good, thought provoking read.

    • Karien

      Thank you for such a clear and reasonable analysis of the hidden machinations of race and gender identity. Now I understand the irrationally emotional responses from white Afrikaners to Pistorius and Xingwana a bit better.

    • fraud

      @Grant, Actually Lulu Xingwana did mention other races and cultures when talking about patriarchy, not just the Afrikaans culture. She mentioned the tradition of Ukuthwala (found mostly in Nguni speaking cultures), where women can just be “kidnapped” and forced into marriage. It’s just that the media typically, conveniently, and mischieveously only chose to report on what she said about Afrikaners…..possibly to create the outrage we saw last week, to discredit her and to ultimately sell papers!

      @Christi, what an excellent article!!!

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    • Gary Koekemoer

      For me what Christi’s article places squarely in view, is that the issue in SA is that men are killing women, “most women who die from homicide in South Africa, die at the hands of an intimate partner. This happens every eight hours in this country”, that above all else should surely be the focus of our attention!! Culture plays a role, whether it be Calvinist, Xhosa, Zulu, but it is not just one cultural group, it is not just one socio-economic group, it is not just gun-owners, it is however one gender doing the killing. As South Africans we have to ask why men are doing this, is it that we have lost sense of our place and that we seek to regain control through violence?

    • Gary Koekemoer

      @ Grant , the “fact” that a white person is most likely to encounter a black man as the burglar, is only one side of the story, the other “fact” is that a black person is most likely to encounter a black man as a burglar too. I think your analysis (and that of Time) is superficial, this is not an issue of black on white crime, it is an issue of the likelihood of being being burgled. We are under threat in our own homes in South Africa, like violence against women, race, culture etc. are not useful in understanding the issue. Men are more likely to be burglars, there are significantly more black men in SA than white, so statistically it makes sense that the uninvited guest is a black man. If you believe that crime is directly linked to poverty levels, black men are likely to be first through the window again, how many poor black men in SA vs. white? Race is in my opinion a red herring in the issue of crime, more important I believe is the issue of the poverty gap, youth unemployment and the lack of adequate policing.

    • Henri

      From the heading one should then deduct that Christi agrees with the Minister that white men are brought up in the Calvinist religion to believe, regarding women and their children that ” they can take that life because they own it”.???

    • Soge

      Christi van der Westhuizen is totally confused, about the truth, in this world and in particular in South Africa. I wish I had her email address to send her an essay which I wrote on WOMEN. (not derogatory, but in concern for their sanity and safety.) send me your email to [email protected]

    • Mr. Direct

      Have you ever heard of a person called Nicole Brown? She was famously murdered in 1994. You may not recognise the name because all the headlines featured one OJ Simpson. In fact, most reports never mentioned her name, merely being “his ex wife”. Not white, not South African, not impacted by apartheid. I do not think colonisation, abject poverty, or GINI had anything to do with this either. Press presented the name they knew would sell newspapers.

      I personally think that Pistorius is either an idiot, or a vicious murderer, or possibly both. I would think the same if he killed a green elephant in his bathroom in similar circumstances. He has opted for the idiot defence, but I guess only he knows the truth. Yes a young woman died, tragic. But if you were to believe his story, he did not know who he was shooting at, and therefore I cannot see how you can use this as a typical example of male on female violence. Unless of course you know exactly what he was thinking when he pulled the trigger. Do you have any other talents other than mind reading?

      How can you defend Lulu Xingwana’s statement? Would you be so defensive if this slur was levelled at other minorities, e.g. homosexuals? No, this is the kind of slur that divides our country, it offers no benefit at all.

      And all you need to do is look at Zapiro cartoons to see how Mr. Zuma’s idiotic remarks have been taken in the press. You are deluded if you think he is given special treatment based on his spear

    • Josh

      Excellent article, Christi: lucid, thoroughly and extremely smart. This is probably the single best article I’ve read on the international media’s response to the Pistorius story.

      Thanks also for drawing my attention to that Time video. Although I had read Perry’s article, I was unaware of this video, which is frankly racist. It is incredibly disturbing that, in 2013, a supposedly reputable international news organisation could exhibit such deep and troubling ignorance about South African society. What does Jim Frederick know about South Africa anyway? They should have at least let Alex Perry talk. Although Perry’s article is hugely flawed (and has some absurd and offensive assertions), Perry is smart enough, I think, to at least have made a better case for his article.

      I kind of just want to go to sleep and wake up in a time when no one is talking about this story anymore.

    • Momma Cyndi

      Gary Koekemoer

      I kinda agree with Grant.
      The white population of SA has never been huge. Getting lost in the crowd is difficult. We lived in little enclaves (still do, to a large extent). The typical conditioning of ‘what would the neighbours say’ was drilled into us (and the neighbours knew every move). We are rather up in each other’s business a lot. …. That all meant likelihood of a white person getting away with a crime was very low. It wasn’t so much that white folk are so much more law abiding, it is that they are easier to catch when they break the law. We have squatter-camp poor whites. You don’t wake up with them next to your bed for the pure and simple reason that they would be caught within days.

      You find the same thing in villages. The crime rate is lower because the likelihood of getting caught is higher because everyone knows everyone else’s business.

      Approximately 10% of any group of people (world wide) are social misfits. Of that, maybe 10% of those 10% are so far into the misfit category that they don’t even care if they are caught. The rest try to at least pretend to be socially functional.

      White collar crime – total different ball game. There ego takes over and with it, the desire to prove yourself more clever than all the rest. That is where the white man (ironically, considering what it is called) flourishes. Purely because the odds of proving the crime are now no longer a roll of the dice. It is no longer just a…

    • Momma Cyndi

      I have to wonder if my father’s family were somehow outliers in the Afrikaans/Calvinist stereotype. The idea that those ‘kwaai tannies’ were browbeaten women dealing with battered women syndrome and those men were acting when they responded with a meek ‘Jammer, skat’ to being told off over muddy boots or ‘ek se maar niks’ if their advice was ignored and a problem occurred – that doesn’t ring true.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met brutal, disgusting, misogynistic, Afrikaans speaking Calvinists – but the same can be said for many other person of any group you wish to mention.

    • Brian Collins

      No one reads Time magazine anymore!

    • bewilderbeast

      Thank you. A rare thinking and balanced article among all the pontificating in these terrible times. Now we need much more coverage to be focussed on the only people who could help the situation in SA, but who choose to aggravate it instead: Those in political power.

    • http://thoughtleader.co.za/christivanderwesthuizen Christi van der Westhuizen

      @ “a survivor”: That is the point to be remembered — thank you for emphasising it again.

      @ Genghiz, Sandile, Gary, Josh: You remind us that Lulu X. was speaking about the most revered masculinity (what RW Connell calls “hegemonic masculinity”) in Afrikanerdom and therefore not about ALL masculinities among Afrikaners or people in general. There are myriad versions — the question is why is South Africa in the grip of a particularly killing variant of masculinity? It results not only in one of the highest femicide figures in the world but also in some of the highest man-on-man homicide figures — for all races.

      Many men can and do claim a right to be that is not premised on the violation of others.

      A powerful campaign that started in India and is being launched tomorrow in SA by Sonke Gender Justice is “Ring the Bell”, asking men to take undertake actions such as:
      • “Teaching children who look up to you that good men respect women—and walk the talk.
      • Challenging those who disrespect women or girls — friends, family, colleagues, anybody.
      • Interrupting violence by ringing the doorbell when you see/hear domestic violence taking place.
      • Insisting on a harassment-free work place.
      • Speaking out in support of equality for women on social networks.
      • Donating money, skills, or other assets to those working for women’s equality and safety”, etc.

      See this video: http://www.youtube

    • http://thoughtleader.co.za/christivanderwesthuizen Christi van der Westhuizen
    • Grant

      @Fraud – If that is the case, it has been spectacularly under-reported in which case I agree with you and she has been unnecessarily maligned. I reserve judgement until I see the full speech. My reality is that SA men of all cultures are juvenile, patriarchal brats that don’t have the simple discipline required to drive a car responsibly let alone treat women and each other with respect. To single out one group smacks of an agenda.

      @Gary Koekemoer – If you read my post you will see I have already taken demographics etc into account. My point was that using imagery of black men while discussing crime in SA is politically incorrect, poor stereotyping and possibly detrimental to our future visions not to mention inflammatory BUT it is accurate whether that sits comfortably with you or not. Christi was trying to insinuate that it was misleading to show black men while discussing crime in SA. In one sense I agree but in another, it is completely accurate.

    • Joe

      This was a very nice article, somewhat biased but still very insightful. What people tend to forget is that the situation around apartheid has led people to believe that people of European descent( the so called whites) are the dominant ethnic group in the country whilst the truth is that they only make up for approximately 8-10% of the entire population. The so-called picture of all “whites” being rich is completely false and is an image that should not be represented by the media as that is no longer true. They are struggling just as much as the other ethnic groups to survive under a government who have completely lost the plot after Nelson Mandela had done such a great job at changing the country for the better. But that is not the issue around the Oscar Pistorius court case. What people should be wondering is whether the media and other people (apart of family and friends) would really have cared about such an occurrence, had the perpetrator and victim not been celebrities. Would the rest of South Africa have cared if Reeva Steenkamp was not a stunning model and Oscar Pistorius not an internationally known athlete? I’m not sure any of us are brave enough to honestly answer that question out loud.

    • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

      Christi is right. The assumption that violence is associated with poverty is RACIST. On the contrary, real violence is STRUCTURAL violence. And that is a product capitalism.

      Thanks.

    • Njabulo

      The extreme violence in South African society can be pinned down to the migrant labour system that under-educated and dehumanised blacks whilst braking down black families. It has a mirror in the Americas’ slave and colonial past and the continuing problems therein, more especially USA and Brazil. At the same time, it also dehumanised white males who were required to commit attrocities to enforce the status quo. Both sets of males returned to their respective homes as unhinged but untreated. Hunter and hunted were both fundamentally damaged. As a foreigner, this is glaring to me. Also glaring is the state of denial by the white community.I am yet to meet a self confessed white beneficiary of Apartheid. If South Africa is to move forward, whites especially, have to unburden themselves of this past. This can only be achieved by acknowledging and accepting it. For example, it makes no sense for white business to ingore 30 million consumers at home and instead chase consumers in zambia, Ghana, Nigeria etc. As has been shown by repeated failures in Australia by South African companies, this is fundamentally a flawed denialist thesis. The same applies with Pistorius, there was no blackman nor was there likely to be one in the house (gated community and all), just a scared defenseless white woman very well known to him. No amount of saying otherwise will refute this, nor will it absolve the father of perhaps having bought into the fame and in doing so irreparably failing his son

    • Gary Koekemoer

      @ Grant your “fact” is as accurate as the “fact” that in the past white men were most likely to be driving an ossewa, as the “fact” that of people on a golf course, most are likely to be economically better off than their caddies? And? So? My issue is not in the accuracy of the fact itself, my concern is its relevance. Foreign media have used this “fact” to perpetuate a perception, echoed by Pistorius’s father, that crime in SA is black-on-white, that its origins lie in race, rather than in privilege/ poverty. It detracts from the critical issue we as a nation have to understand, namely, why as Christi puts it, ” is South Africa in the grip of a particularly killing variant of masculinity?” I can understand why crime is so prevalent in our country, but I don’t have an answer for why our men kill so readily.

    • The Critical Cynic

      a brilliant apprailsal overall of the hypocricy of the world and how easily we can distort the “truth” through our prejudices.
      In the main, and I realise you are generalising here (have to), I concur with your analysis. I think you’d be hard pressed to find people who aren’t nodding their heads at the comment by Genghiz #.
      Grant’s comment that
      SA men of all cultures are juvenile, patriarchal brats that don’t have the simple discipline required to drive a car responsibly let alone treat women and each other with respect

    • The Critical Cynic

      a brilliant apprailsal overall of the hypocricy of the world and how easily we can distort the “truth” through our prejudices.
      In the main, and I realise you are generalising here (have to), I concur with your analysis. I think you’d be hard pressed to find people who aren’t nodding their heads at the comment by Genghiz #.
      Grant’s comment that
      “SA men of all cultures are juvenile, patriarchal brats that don’t have the simple discipline required to drive a car responsibly let alone treat women and each other with respect”
      is a generalisation that is TRUE and ALL SA MEN have an obligation to women (they could start with the ones in their lives) to look into their hearts and be honest about the way they view and treat women.
      We need more MEN to start joining us in ringing the bell

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    • Neil Hayes-Hill

      I gather from your article, that your view is: Time Magazine => wrong, You => right? “ruminate on the perils of post-white rule” – save me pleeeze.
      ‘Cause Time Magazine and ABC are based in countries which have previously viloently rid themselves of the natives, you appear to claim that they should not have comment on South Africa? You should immigrate to North Korea – you will feel better.

      Unfortunately in South Africa, there are people like you, purporting to be highly knowledged and intellectual, BUT, want to be, in as far as South Africa is concerned, an ostrich, deeply burring this same supposed intellect deeply underground, and want to, by whatever ‘clever’ subtle means, want to deny reality in this country, as is patently made clear in your article, as well as was in Zuma’s ill founded ‘Don’t rubbish SA over violence’ speech, which has immediately come back to bite him, when considering the reaction of the world’s media to his ridiculous set of utterly contradictory statements flying in the face of statistics.

      As Oscar Pistorius is only a party to the daily occurrence of common femicide in SA, contributing a 33% factor of these events of the day, or is guilty of accidental homicide or that of plain murder, is not really what matters: what does matter is that due to his iconic worldwide status, is that this incident, which would have otherwise gone completely unreported in SA like most of the other three-a-day incidents here, let alone throughout the…

    • Xsteen

      What I find disturbing is the trial by public media and opinion that is taking place. no-one is trying to deminish all the troubles South Africa is facing or that sexism, racism and discrimination in general exists in South Africa. However even a country like the Netherlands which is known for it’s liberal laws still face the same. it may not be as pervasive but it still exists. Xenophobia is rampant the focus is just anyone with Islam as a religeon or that looks like they could be supporting it….
      I think one needs to remember that even under South African law one is innocent untill proven guilty. If Mr. Pistorius is Innocent of the crime he is accused of and it is just one big mistake he will have to live with for the rest of his life think on the untold damage the media attention is causing. Psychologically I’m not sure if he will ever recover. His career won’t as his sponsors won’t touch him after this. He is ruined. Not only as a brand but also as a human being. How many women would trust him after this media circus? He may be better off in jail as outside of it he will never be the same again… A jail sentence that he sits out may just be more redeeming than a dismissal of the charges or being found not guilty. People will never consider him to be innocent. just not found guilty. I hope people that people understand that the stances taken on his guilt or innosence shows just as much of South Africa’s lack of moral compass as the media is trying to blame it for…

    • https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/179382 Newton Fortuin

      Thank you for your fresh and incisive perspective on a very complex issue.

      Also refer to Ignorance and Evil: An Analysis of Racism in South Africa – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/179382.

    • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

      @ Njabulo

      “The extreme violence in South African society can be pinned down to the migrant labour system that under-educated and dehumanised blacks whilst braking down black families.”

      Yes, thank heavens other African countries did not suffer brutalizing colonialism, or they would be just as violent as South Africa!

    • Neil Hayes-Hill

      continued- throughout the world, has highlighted internationally our incredibly high crime rate where femicide is purportedly the highest in the world. As well as unacceptably high levels of police corruption, and the state of the ‘political pig feeding trough’, which well are all well aware of.

      It is of no intellectual use to any distant across the world Time reader to see this startling incident involving a world icon, out of context, which was what Time Magazine has

    • Neil Hayes-Hill

      continued- Time Magazine has endeavoured to do, regardless of your rather dumb and semantic argument about whether Pistorius murdered his girlfriend, or was blindly blindly shooting at a perceived intruder; whether the clip shows squatter housing at the exact point that ‘crime’ is mentioned, etc ( by the way, in the cone clip of squatter housing there were men throwing stones which looked ‘quite violent’. Their article seeks to understand why there is such violence, in the context of the

    • Neil Hayes-Hill

      continued- in the context of the post apartheid hangover, poverty, and corruption up to the highest levels.

      I watched the Time Magazine Clip, and have read the article, carefully, as a South African, and feel that they got the South African scenario ‘spot-on, as a backgound to the Pistorius incident.
      As there is no way out present government is actually going to do anything about the country’s’ dire situation, as they are far too preoccupied with the ‘feeding-trough’, let alone ever taking the bleating DA seriously, or any other internal force including the unions, frankly.
      I feel that the only way to South Africa’s salvation of the major challenges of racism, income differentials, social services and valid productive economic growth and meaningful development of our people, is for our intellectuals to pull their brains out of the Kalahari sand ( which I suggest you do too), and inform the world of what is really happening on the ground here, such that pressure can be brought internationallyonto our dear South African government to create real, meaningful change, which can only start with world-wide knowledge, and the power that the world has, from the diplomatic to the massive removal of investment, affecting the feeding-trough, until such valid change occurs: bit like ‘self imposed sanctions’ by defalut in my view.

    • Neil Hayes-Hill

      continued- Time Magazine, one of the world’s most renown and widely read, put together this article which well illustrates us to the world: and I wholly subscribe to what they have stated, as it contributes to the natural progression of ‘self-default’ stated above.

      Two notable things:
      The writer, Jonny Steinberg, has indicated that he received a Tweet from an aggrieved South African about the article, which said “You are lying about South African levels of violence – if I find you, I will smash your face in….” ( eNCA interview 14:15 2012-03-09)
      Only two South Africans have ever appeared on the front cover of Time Magazine-Nelson Mandela-and Oscar Pistorius.
      I wonder if these make you think at all?