This country needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror

Ideas

This country needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror

The ugly scenes of the past week call for earnest introspection from South Africans

Deputy editor: Sunday Times

What goes through the mind of a parent who goes looting with their children, asking them to help carry the proceeds of their criminal conduct, while expecting them, in the near future, to behave like prim and proper members of society?

This question has been playing at the back of my mind for a few days, since the unprecedented scenes of shameful looting witnessed in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and other parts of the country. 

What happens in the mind of a parent who says to their child: “My baby, take these (stolen goods) home and I, as your parent, am going back into the mall to see what else there is to steal and I will find you at home.” Is the rationale (I assume that there is a process used to arrive at this) that we, the poor, now have a rare opportunity to access life’s luxuries or necessities without paying a cent and, therefore, it doesn’t matter that it’s looting? Is there even a rationale to this — or is it simply a case of “everyone is looting, why behave like I am holier than thou?” Group think...

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