The murder of Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa has forced South Africans to confront some hard truths about the state of crime in the country. Itâ€
As a nation, we were shocked by the shooting. Meyiwa was young and in the prime of his career. He was a father to very young daughters, who will never get to spend time with him.
But within a day of his murder, it was clear which way the national conversation would swing. Meyiwa was shot, not at the home he had shared with his wife, but at the Vosloorus home of his girlfriend, singer Kelly Khumalo. It wasnâ€
I will admit, until news of Meyiwaâ€
It all began on social media, with some people saying that Meyiwa would not have died if he had not been in the wrong place at the wrong time – that is, if he had not been in a relationship with Khumalo in the first place. (This is before we even get to the people who believe that Khumalo had a direct hand in his death.)
â€” 14â€¢10â€¢14 (@Phomolo_Mokoena) October 27, 2014
I feel no remorse whatsoever for kelly khumalo, actually i say she deserves every bit of hurt, my heart breaks for #mandisameyiwa
â€” Botshelo mareledi (@Botshelo1105) October 27, 2014
Headlines such as â€œKelly Khumalo faces Twitter ire over Senzo Meyiwa’s deathâ€ and â€œThe fight over Senzo: #TeamKelly vs #TeamMandisaâ€ were the order of the day.
Khumalo was blamed for Meyiwaâ€
The same Meyiwa who was praised for his decisiveness, leadership and prowess on the field, was portrayed as a person weak enough to be tricked into an extra-marital affair. For many, Khumalo bears full responsibility for their entire affair, and now for his death as well.
The vitriol aimed at Khumalo has persisted even after Meyiwaâ€
On Monday, a Facebook friend commented that â€œthese Jezebels are destroying us Menâ€.
â€œFirst Reeva cheating on Oscar which led to him pulling that trigger, his traumatic court case and R17.5m legal bill.. And now Senzo Meyiwa dying to save his girlfriend!â€ he said.
As a society, we too easily blame women for the actions of men. In a country where 172 sexual offences happen daily, mostly to women, this is deeply telling.