Seems we have become inured to almost all forms of violence in South Africa, except in cases of sensational racist killings.
In both cases we are the victims of our past - and, too often, of our present.
A 17-year-old white youth has been arrested for allegedly storming the Skielik squatter camp at Swartruggens in North West.
He is accused of callously shooting four black people dead at random, including a three-month-old baby on her mother's back and a 10-year-old boy. At least five others were injured.
Cosatu, local and provincial politicians have condemned his onslaught as a deliberate, racist attack.
The boy will appear in court today charged with murder. Five years ago he was convicted of another shooting and he is serving a suspended sentence.
We abhor all killings. But racial violence strikes a particularly passionate chord among all of us after apartheid's grotesqueries.
We reserve our most heartfelt contempt for any killing that even smacks of racism. And so it should be, whether the victim is a reactionary white farmer or an innocent black child playing in a squatter camp's alleys.
The youth deserves his day in court and if found guilty should be heavily penalised. But if a racist motive is detected for his madness, they must throw away the key to his cell.