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Sat Nov 01 05:22:20 SAST 2014

SA violence makes cover of Time

KATHARINE CHILD | 01 March, 2013 00:36
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Oscar Pistorius

From "man to superman to gunman", is how the cover of this week's Time magazine portrays Oscar Pistorius.

The world has watched as the unlikely Olympian, a double amputee, plummeted from international hero to murder suspect.

But as the lead article in Time shows, attention has shifted from the fallen hero to South Africa's "culture of violence".

The country was "once a model of racial reconciliation" but is now a place where murder and rape are "pervasive and persistent", Time says.

Less than a year ago, the magazine included Pistorius as one of the 100 most influential people of 2012. In that edition, he was described as the "definition of global inspiration".

In the latest Time cover story, Pistorius is summed up in four words: "icon shoots cover girl".

The article moves from the beauty of Cape Town, where Reeva Steenkamp and Pistorius last holidayed, to the poverty that deepens the further one travels from Table Mountain.

"This stark gradation helps explain South Africa's raging violent crime (and why, contrary to legend, Cape Town actually has a higher murder rate than Johannesburg)," the article says.

It continues: "In 2011 the UN Office for Drugs and Crime found that South Africa had the 10th-highest murder rate in the world. Rape is endemic."

Time magazine takes a stab at the government: "Why does no one trust the state? For blacks, it's partly because of South Africa's historical legacy. And for all South Africans, but particularly for whites, it's partly because the ruling ANC is tarred by corruption and criminality."

Pistorius joins apartheid-era prime minister Hendrik Verwoerd as one of the infamous South African faces that has graced the cover of Time.

South Africa, only months after a negative front-page article in The Economist magazine, is shamed again.

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