Justice still eludes the poor masses

Justice still eludes the poor masses.
Justice still eludes the poor masses.
Image: STOCK

The Struggle for liberation was all about equality and restoring the dignity and rights of the vast majority of the people of this country which they were denied by apartheid and colonialism.

It is therefore understandable that there would be, in a society recovering from centuries of racial discrimination and injustice such as ours, a heightened sensitivity to crimes and injustice fuelled by racial prejudice, especially against black African people.

It is a residue of resistance to systemic discrimination that will stay with us, perhaps, forever.

Such levels of vigilance are on the whole not unhealthy but the quest for a more just and equal society would be dealt an even greater service if it were tinged with even-handedness in cases involving black culprits on black victims.

On Monday, this newspaper reported the abandonment of the inquiry into a stampede at FNB Stadium that left two people dead at a pre-season clash between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs almost a year ago. The ministry of sport under new incumbent Tokozile Xasa announced at the weekend that it was calling off the committee of inquiry ordered by her predecessor Thulas Nxesi.

Among the ministry's reasons for the ill-advised move, was - unbelievably - what it termed "the lack of cooperation necessary to execute the mandate of such an inquiry by key role players". In other words, the clubs, organisers of the match and the hosts thereof are not playing ball.

The statement on the ministry website claims the success of such an inquiry would have depended "largely on the cooperation of the affected stakeholders".

It said further that "there has been active opposition" and therefore the government "found it necessary to withdraw" the inquiry "and to review other available legal instruments and to vigorously pursue the matter further through other law enforcement agencies" to ensure that justice is served.

The announcement has largely been met with silence. Where is the outrage from society at large when such a blatant and arrogant disregard for black lives is on display? Where was a report on the progress made by law enforcement agencies on the matter?

The people, especially the poor and voiceless, deserve better from a government premised on human rights.