A week of jus­tice for some – anger and sad­ness for the rest

CityPress - - Sport - S’Bu­siso Mse­leku sm­se­leku@city­press.co.za Fol­low me on Twit­ter @Sbu_Mse­leku

Iam an­gry.

Ac­tu­ally, I’m livid. What makes it even worse is that my state of ex­as­per­a­tion has come in a week in which I also ex­pe­ri­enced a sense of re­lief.

The source of the lat­ter was the judg­ment handed down by Supreme Court of Ap­peal Judge Eric Leach on Thurs­day that for­mer Par­a­lympic star Os­car Leonard Carl Pis­to­rius was “guilty of mur­der with the ac­cused hav­ing had crim­i­nal in­tent in the form of

My so­lace was not brought about by the fact that Pis­to­rius – whose story the hon­ourable Judge Eric Leach aptly summed up as “a hu­man tragedy of Shake­spearean pro­por­tions” – was go­ing down.

I felt that the judg­ment would ac­tu­ally go a long way to­wards restor­ing some level of faith in our jus­tice sys­tem.

There had been sev­eral ques­tions af­ter the ini­tial judg­ment was handed down in the high court, but I will not go into that, see­ing that this is a sports col­umn.

My anger comes from how, just two days prior to the land­mark Pis­to­rius ver­dict, we awoke to the news of the cal­lous mur­der of for­mer Ath­let­ics SA CEO Banele Sin­dani (may his soul rest in peace).

As more de­tails of how Sin­dani was bru­tally gunned down in front of his 12-year-old daugh­ter emerged – par­tic­u­larly the non­cha­lant man­ner in which his as­sailants left with a plasma TV and two cell­phones – the an­grier I be­came.

I could not agree more with Sports and Re­cre­ation Min­is­ter Fik­ile Mbalula when he said: “We trust and hope the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties will find and bring to jus­tice those who stole him from us.”

But that state­ment also added to my mis­ery.

I had my own doubts about whether this would hap­pen, see­ing that we are still sit­ting with the un­solved mur­der of Or­lando Pi­rates and Bafana Bafana goal­keeper Senzo Meyiwa more than a year since he was gunned down in front of five wit­nesses at the house of the mother of girl­friend Kelly Khu­malo in Vosloorus.

Can one trust the “rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties” Mbalula speaks of to en­sure that Sin­dani’s killers are brought to book?

If so, what’s stop­ping them from do­ing the same with Meyiwa’s mur­derer or mur­der­ers?

Sin­dani was a gi­ant in sports ad­min­is­tra­tion. He had im­pec­ca­ble strug­gle cre­den­tials. He was also ar­tic­u­late.

As an aside, his mur­der has robbed this news­pa­per of a “crack­ing story” that he promised yours truly a few weeks ago.

I can only sit and won­der at what kind of coun­try fails to bring to book the killers of such high-pro­file mem­bers of so­ci­ety. That’s not to say that oth­ers’ lives are worth less, but if we can’t catch peo­ple amid all this pub­lic­ity, who can we catch?

Every­where one trav­els over our bor­ders, we keep be­ing asked: “How does our coun­try fail to ar­rest, try and put in jail the peo­ple or per­son who killed the coun­try’s foot­ball cap­tain?”

At the time Meyiwa was killed, he was rid­ing the crest of the wave, hav­ing kept some im­pres­sive clean sheets for both his beloved Buc­ca­neers and Bafana Bafana.

The find­ings of the ap­peal judges that Pis­to­rius’ con­fused and con­flict­ing sto­ries about what hap­pened on Valen­tine’s Day in 2013 meant that he had no de­fence – as well as the rul­ing that shoot­ing into a small cu­bi­cle with deadly hol­low-point am­mu­ni­tion meant he in­tended to kill who­ever was be­hind that door – might have re­stored some cred­i­bil­ity to our law en­force­ment and jus­tice sys­tems. Reeva Steenkamp’s fam­ily was fi­nally given clo­sure, but the out­come may ring hol­low for the Sin­dani and Meyiwa fam­i­lies.

That is un­less the killers in both those cases are caught and dealt with ac­cord­ingly.

Un­til that hap­pens, I shall re­main con­sumed by sad­ness and anger.

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