“Madondo did have an edgy point to make: so Pistorius didn’t intend to kill his lovely blonde girlfriend? So what. He did intend to kill the black man he thought was hiding behind that toilet door.

White South Africans often perceive violent crime as an almost genocidal threat to their ­survival. In truth, crime against whites is an insignificant part of the overall picture, and Steenkamp’s shooting was little more than a sideshow.

Mob killings were fairly common in the apartheid era, when Africans had little faith in white policemen and no mercy for those who collaborated with them.

Against this backdrop, all that can really be said about the Pistorius trial is that it distracted South Africa from its real problems. Those problems are deep and possibly intractable.

In the end, Pistorius was a parable about celebrity, not South Africa.”

Newsweek Essay: The Pistorius Trial Is a Parable About Celebrity, Not South Africa


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