SA makes dictatorship look good

Marc Joubert was murdered in cold blood on Saturday evening. An innocent victim of an armed robbery, he died attempting to stop one of seven robbers as they fled a popular Durban restaurant.

Marc Joubert was murdered in cold blood on Saturday evening. An innocent victim of an armed robbery, he died attempting to stop one of seven robbers as they fled a popular Durban restaurant.

Since then, there's been the anger, the helplessness - the full range of pitiful emotions one feels in trying to find meaning and assign blame.

Ultimately, there's the government, our "representatives", to whom we look for law and order, justice and retribution.

Marc was mentioned in parliament this week by DA MP Gareth Morgan. Morgan ended his address with the plea: "Do something, please."

Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, replying on behalf of the government, accused Morgan of "individualising matters" and ended with: "Let's stop blaming the government."

The callousness and indifference betrayed by Manuel's statements is galling.

When safety and security minister Charles Nqakula told "crime whingers" to leave the country, I took his words to heart, and have fled to the relatively green pastures of the Arabian Desert.

It's no small irony that I have had to settle in a benevolent dictatorship to appreciate the true value of freedom.

Blake Pickering, Dubai

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