Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
February is known as the month of romance.
This is because February 14 is Valentine's Day.
Traditionally this is the day on which lovers express their love for each other by sending each other Valentine's cards, chocolates and other gifts.
Unfortunately this bliss in February is not shared by everyone.
Yesterday my wife brought home a copy of an article written by a woman who is serving 30 years in prison for killing her husband.
Written by the inmate herself for Agenda, a journal published by activists who campaign for gender equality, the article relates how severe abuse by her late husband drove her to hiring assassins to kill him.
In the article she gives graphic details of how her husband abused her sexually, physically and emotionally, while openly engaged in adulterous relationships.
Eventually she became a nervous wreck who could onlysurvive by taking sedatives.
She also speaks of the love they had for each other as boyfriend and girlfriend.
"He was the most loving boyfriend,'' she writes.
But things turned sour after they got married and moved to the husband's home-town.
What makes her tale more heart-rend ing are her claims that she was also abused by the man's parents.
And the man was a well-respected businessman and professional who was adored by his community.
Essentially the woman was on her own, enduring abuse from someone who people thought was beyond reproach.
Eventually she snapped and hired people to kill him.
She later confessed to the murder and apologised to his family and her children.
She has also accepted that being in prison is a form of punishment for the sin she had committed.
She ends her article by saying that seemingly her life is doomed to be marred by pain.
So for her February is not a month of romance, but one of pain and sorrow as she ponders her future behind bars.
The woman's story is an example of how victims of spousal abuse can be driven to commit the ultimate crime - that of killing their loved ones.
Unfortunately such people are judged on the basis of the crime they have committed - that of taking someone's life.
There is also the tendency to lump them with women who kill their partners for material gain.
Especially if the murdered spouse was rich, which was the case in this woman's instance.
By raising these issues one does not absolve the greedy women who plan to kill their husbands for material gain.
The media has covered several such cases and fortunately in most of them the law has taken its course to deal with these miscreants.
Their deeds are not only a shame to humanity but they are also unAfrican.
It is common knowledge that in African culture people wash their hands after attending a burial.
In terms of this practice the widow is the one who washes her hands first.
The essence of this is that by washing her hands the widow is saying: "I have absolutely nothing to do with the death of the deceased."
If she is later found to have had something to do with the death of the deceased, it means she purposely lied and breeched a sacrosanct African practice.
That is what makes her actions unAfrican.