Thu, 14 Feb 2013 09:09:00 GMT | By Andrew Hallett

Oscar And The State Of Our Nation

Andrew Hallett looks at the Oscar Pistorius situation and finds a deeper problem within our society...

Oscar Pistorius (© Wire Image)

South Africa was sent into a state of shock and sheer disbelief on Thursday morning when it was revealed that Olympic hero Oscar Pistorius had allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend.

A case of 'mistaken identity' is being thrown around as to the reason for the death, while social networks have been flooded with mixed views on what actually happened.

But while the situation is one of great tragedy and clear sadness for all those connected, it comes on the same day that news was released of a muti murder in Gauteng, where a husband beheaded his wife to earn some extra cash. Nobody seems to have batted an eyelid at this incident now that Pistorius is in the news?

While it is clear that the gift of life is not valued very highly in South Africa - with murder statistics available to back up that statement, the way in which the concern of the general public shoots straight to those in the limelight is a sad indictment of the society we live in.

Cases of violence between family members and people in intimate relationships are a regular occurrence in South Africa, even the police have been called into question for their direct involvement in domestic abuse of late. Yes, the police. The same people who are tasked with protecting you and I from dangers such as violence at home.

The Jub Jub trial and subsequent conviction is another example of the public failing to see what else is plaguing our country in favour of latching on to the celebrity and his plight.

Yes, it is a lot easier for the general public to care about matters which receive greater media coverage, but when people are beheaded for muti or attacked, raped and killed like Anene Booysen so brutally was, a deeper lying problem within this country is ironed over and somewhat ignored.

President Jacob Zuma is preparing for his 'State of the Nation' address on Thursday evening and it is going to be interesting to see what his take on the problems we face as a country are, especially those surrounding the disregard for human life - something which should be valued, not ignored.

Or maybe he will be starstruck too...

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