THE Anni Dewani murder
light he would rise above this nonsense.
case has gripped the nation, with this week’s courtroom revelations no doubt elevating media reading and viewing. The salacious aspects of the case are intriguing enough, but there is appears to be more to it than that: it has prodded the national psyche.
Perhaps the crassest expression of this came from – surprise, surprise – national police commissioner General Bheki Cele when he called murder suspect Shrien Dewani a “monkey” who “thought we were stupid”.
In doing so, Cele came perilously close to pronouncing on Dewani’s guilt, but that is hardly surprising for a man who appears to think that his
charges should shoot first and then ask questions.
What is surprising is that he appears to be more intent on addressing foreign perceptions of us than acknowledging the reality on the ground. The triumphalist tone of Cele’s comments are clearly motivated by his own desire – one shared by many – to prove that the killing did not reflect badly on South Africa.
But what then of the suggestion that Dewani paid a pitiful amount to the hitmen to have his wife killed? And what about the real tragedy of a young woman’s life cut short? And what about the crime statistics that suggest we are a nation that has not got to grips with the violence in its midst?
Of course nobody wants their city or country to be associated with this sort of crime and it is perhaps understandable that people were relieved by the evidence of convicted taxi driver Zola Tongo.
But Cele’s response appears to have been direct- ed at a narrow, bigoted community of Afro-sceptics beyond our borders. The most voluble and offensive of these being Dewani’s spin doctor, Max Clifford.
Cele’s position demands that he acts and pronounces in a measured fashion. If he really wanted to have his country painted in a positive
Instead he has himself embarrassed us in the eyes of the world.