Columns 14.9.2017 05:30 am

Robin Hood was just a hood…

For ordinary South Africans to celebrate criminals as heroes is sending a terrible message to our kids.

South Africans on one hand want to put sparkles on criminals and shout their praises and on the other claim the country would be so much better without them …

So how can we blame the police for not fighting crime if the community shields and glorifies the same criminals that hold the country hostage?

Case in point: Sandile “Chillies” Bhengu, a known hijacker, was shot and killed in a shoot-out with police – and the very same community that he terrorised came out in full force to celebrate his life.

How does a known criminal earn the title of “popular hijacker?” Notorious, I would understand, but not popular…

So the guy stole honest citizens’ wheels and spun those cars at funerals – and he somehow gets a hero’s sendoff? This guy would take selfies in stolen cars and here in Umlazi township the residents come out in their numbers to bid him farewell – as though they were mourning the pope?

South Africans, get serious! It’s been said that Bhengu did a lot of good for the community with the proceeds of crime, so I guess that community then gives him a pass to continue terrorising other communities.

This is no Robin Hood story – and even if it was, Hood was still a common hood! It matters not that he was stealing from the rich to give to the poor: stealing is still stealing.

Criminals steal more than material possessions: they steal your freedom, sense of security and trust – they are brutal in their conduct and there is no way it can be given back. Once it’s gone, it’s gone …

If the older brothers and sisters in the community are so busy celebrating the very criminals that reside with them, how are children who are watching this insanity meant to steer clear of crime?

This is, after all, what the community rewards, isn’t it? You cannot justify that Bhengu was a criminal because he was raised by a single mother who struggled financially.

Why didn’t he then stop stealing once he clawed his way out of poverty? There is so much we can celebrate in SA. A criminal should not be one of those things.

Kekeletso Nakeli-Dhliwayo

Kekeletso Nakeli-Dhliwayo

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