Shocking scenes left me gasping for breath on Wednesday evening as I watched news coverage of South African Hip-Hop star, Jub Jub’s court appearance. What caused my shock was the behaviour of angry school children who had come to protest against a freak accident that killed four school children in Soweto recently. Jub jub and his co-accused are said to have taken part in a drag race on a busy road in Protea, Soweto, allegedly under the influence of hard drugs. They lost control and killed the four.
Understandably, the youngsters are disappointed by the behaviour of their hero and are angry at the unnecessary death of their counterparts. The recent impish behaviour by these uniform clad teenagers at the courts is however inexcusable. Some banged on the police van bringing the suspects to court, others hung onto the fencing which eventually gave in under the weight of this mob, threw missiles in the direction of the police vehicles and uprooted sign posts on the road. The police eventually resorted to firing rubber bullets to disperse the rowdy mob. I remember thinking “Thank goodness,” that I was far away from that war zone. Like the unfortunate Cinna the poet in Julius Caesar, anyone in that vicinity certainly faced a risk of being torn down for his “bad verses,” in other words for simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time!
Are these our future leadership behaving in this distasteful manner? Are we teaching our children that come what may, violence is the way? Have we failed to set an example for the youth or is the youth just simply out of control and out of mind? Has someone put them up to this? These are questions that need to be asked and solutions found. Unlike in the olden “Sarafina” days, today there is a sound legal system in South Africa that will handle the likes of Jub jub and the children have no right to be out of the classroom,causing mayhem in the name of justice. (Unless to the youth, Malema's visiting of Jub Jub in the cells implies that justice will not be served). I am not saying the youth of today have no right to protest and vent out, all I am saying is that scenes of the Soweto Riots and Sharpville should remain in the pages of the history books. If at all we need to relive them, let us do that on the big screen when we watch the likes of “Cry Freedom” and “Sarafina.”