Fleurs must not become just another statistic

Luke Fleurs is dead, and what are we to make of his death; wring our hands; move on, another statistic, and do nothing about it?

As you read this we as a publication are outraged by the callousness of it all. A young man, only 24, at the bloom of his youth, has had his life taken, in a hijack attack, in a public space, at a filling station in Honeydew, Johannesburg, awaiting his turn to fill up.

Fleurs was a national asset. He was all set to do duty for Kaizer Chiefs as a trusted defender after joining them recently. And now his life has been snuffed out,  yet some people, the hoodlums that they are, are allowed to get away with murder, almost literally, with no consequences for their deadly actions.

That surely must be outrageous to all South Africans, not because he is a prominent football player, but simply because life is precious.

If we think more seriously about this gross loss of life of a young man, not in any flippant ways, we know, or ought to know, deep within, that this death is in no way an isolated incident. Such bad news has become the everyday story of South Africa today. No one is safe.

The Constitution enjoins us to value all life, which is to say “everyone has the right to life” – a right Fleurs was entitled to.

Many people in this country are sick and tired of the violence, and rightly so. Some – it does not matter on which side of the equation of this debate you stand – have been calling for the return of the death penalty as a deterrent in the face of rampant and violent crime.

Could this be a solution? We cannot definitively tell. But the question we raise is what value can we attach to the Constitution when theoretically it is an admirable document, but in practice seems  inadequate to what it seeks to achieve.

Why should those who grossly violate its promptings deserve to have their lives spared? What needs to be done in the face of the violent onslaught against innocent people who are mercilessly killed without just cause, daily.

This should not in any way be seen as an attempt to undermine the Constitution but to find a middle way to address the problem facing the country.

Nearly 10 years ago, Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana star goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa was gunned down, aged a mere 27 years in another senseless shooting in Vosloorus, on the East Rand.

He is still to get justice. The murder trial has been dragging on for a while now.

Justice delayed is justice denied.

Rampant lawlessness is threatening our democracy. The killing of Fleurs may be an indicator the state is not exerting itself enough to effectively fight violent crime.

The death of Fleurs was unnecessary, as have been that of countless others who were gunned down by gunmen roaming our unsafe streets undeterred.

Music mega star Kiernan “AKA” Forbes and his mate Tebello “Tibz” Motsoane suffered the same fate against callous murderers last year.

Our hearts go out to Fleurs’ family, Kaizer Chiefs and the football fraternity at large.

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