Since news broke on Thursday about the tragic story of Oscar and Reeva, I, with the rest of South Africa have been dealing with a tapestry of difficult emotions. As South Africans, we are accustomed to the words “I can’t believe it” when anything happens – I can’t believe she wore that to the wedding, I can’t believe the service is so bad, I can’t believe back charges have gone up again.
But on Thursday morning, as South Africans listened and read the breaking news; we finally understood the true, raw meaning of disbelief.
My first instinct when reading the story on News24 was to look at the date thinking that it was a really sick April Fools joke. Realising it was too early for April Fools, I immediately felt nauseated. I didn’t know what to feel, how to react. Raw disbelief hit me in the face like an icy winter’s day.
The day moved on, in a blurry confusion, and more details induced more emotions – shock, disappointment and above all, a deep deep sadness. A sadness for the beautiful young woman who, I am sure never expected this to happen in a million years, as most of us hold the mentality that “it will never happen to me”. And a sadness for Oscar’s life – a fallen hero, a scared man.
With each new detail, a new array of emotion formed in our hearts. From Thursday morning, every news outlet, every coffee shop conversation, every water cooler talk revolved around one topic.
We, as South Africans can’t stop talking about the situation, we are trying to make sense of it, trying to grasp it, wrap around our heads.
Even as I write this the raw disbelief consumes me. But then I realise what all these emotions mean. I am mourning. I am mourning the loss of an innocent soul. I am mourning the loss of a hero. I am mourning the loss of love. And I am mourning the loss of hope, hope in humanity.