OPINION | While we want justice for Senzo, let's not be the schoolyard bully

13 June 2019 - 08:00 By Kyle Zeeman
Senzo Meyiwa was killed in 2014 but Mzansi is still waiting for justice to be served.
Senzo Meyiwa was killed in 2014 but Mzansi is still waiting for justice to be served.
Image: Via Instagram

Nobody likes a bully- even the bullies themselves- but while we are in a rush to "cancel" this one and that one for "doing wrong, let's take a look in the mirror and realise that we are the bully we hate so much.

The mob that is Black Twitter has been on the rampage for nearly a week now, cancelling celebrities like they are magazine subscriptions. In cases that have made the trends list, users hid behind the mask of justice, thinking they are the latest Avenger ready to make the world right.

As someone who was bullied in primary school and through much of high school, I saw the characteristics of my tormentors in many of those messages.

The name calling. The vengeance for their own past hurt now showing in their words to others. It was personal and it was painful to watch.

I could hardly believe it last Friday when I saw TV host Denise Zimba being slammed for once criticising late house musician Nichume Siwundla. Some of the messages suggested that Denise's criticism was the reason for the young star taking her own life.

The same claim was repeated with another musician and mentor named just a few days later as the reason for her death.

It was disgusting to watch how many users who have account bios calling themselves "God's favourite", judge and tear apart another human being over something they believed they had done wrong.

Suicide shouldn't be taboo to talk about, but it should be taken seriously and to blame anyone for it, especially if you don't have all the facts, is reckless and hurtful.

But the mob didn't rest.

After weekend reports that police are about to arrest several well-known personalities in connection with the murder of former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa, Kelly Khumalo was once again attacked.

Senzo was killed in 2014 but Mzansi is still waiting for justice to be served. They saw Kelly, who was dating the footballer at the time and was with him at the time of his death, as a  suspect.

They took on the role of police and chief justice, and pronounced her guilty, just like some had done when they flew a banner demanding justice for Senzo and chanted his name during her performance at an EFF rally earlier this year.

Kelly hit back through a lengthy and emotional statement maintaining her innocence.

"I'm not going to sit back and let you abuse and accuse me of something I have nothing to do with. I have co-operated with the law, gave all the necessary information. If there's one thing I will never do is take the fall for something I know nothing about. I will fight till my last breath because that's who I am," Kelly wrote in a part of the statement.

No matter what you think - the fact is that Kelly has not been charged and none of us have the facts to declare otherwise.  

At the end of the day, Kelly has the right to move on with her life, to raise her children and deal with the death of her partner, while those who have families of their own blame her and pretend she is different to them with no knowledge of what actually happened.

Yes, it is painful that the justice system has seemingly failed Senzo's family and all of us who adored him, but there is enough going on in South African schools without grown adults on social media acting like they are on the playground and adopting a mob mentality to pick on the most convenient target.

We need to do better or we may find we are not only poisoning those around us but also ourselves. We may find that we are not chasing the bully but becoming the bully.