I sympathise with Kabelo Thibedi for the sentence he received, but I think we need to separate the facts from our emotions.
In terms of the law, for every offence committed there is a minimum sentence that has to be given. Thibedi was charged and the minimum sentence for that crime is five years imprisonment. Taking a hostage is a crime and that is what Thibedi did.
The judgment should be a lesson to all our youth that violence is not the answer to our frustrations. All government departments have procedures that must be followed when someone is not satisfied with their services.
Had Thibedi followed the processes his complaint could have been resolved. There are millions of people who are frustrated with the services of government departments, but this does not justify them resorting to unlawful behaviour.
Thibedi's situation is even worse than before because now he has a criminal record.
Let us respect the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, not only when it acquits those we love dearly, but all the time. The magistrate followed and applied the law.
What kind of values are we promoting when people commit crimes and we demand their freedom?
Paul Cingci, Pretoria