No respect for the dead
What has become of us as a people? Are we so numbed by the levels to which some among us are prepared to stoop just to have their way that all we can do is shrug our shoulders and ask: "What next"?
In African tradition - many would venture - the dead are sacred and anything to do with them should be treated with utmost respect.
But in pursuit of things material no holy cows are left untouched, it seems. Sowetan yesterday ran what to many must have been a shocking exposé about unscrupulous undertakers paying corrupt officials at Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital to release lists of the freshly deceased so that they could jump the queue and offer their dubious services.
Hospital management has promised to investigate the practice which, according to a deep throat, has been going on for years.
We welcome the probe but draw little comfort from claims by the South African Funeral Practitioners Association that it has tried in vain to discuss the matter with Bara.
The whole saga is perhaps symptomatic of the way society at large is turning out.
Why do many among us let go of our values the minute an opportunity arises?
The undertakers exploiting the system, if the evident shambles at Bara could pass for that, would not have stood a chance had there been no one willing to be corrupted in the corridors.
It is a microcosm of a nation so entangled in corruption that it is almost expected that there is someone at every turn willing to take the bait.