MyNews24 is a user-generated section of The stories here come from users.

Motalatale S. Modiba
Comments: 20
Article views: 4
Latest Badges:

View all Motalatale S. Modiba's badges.

This article has been selected as an Editor’s Choice report. Articles are selected based on quality of writing, audience response, newsworthiness and originality, and is at the discretion of the MyNews24 editors.

Modimolle monster a reflection of a society we are becoming

20 January 2012, 09:05

While the outrage at the remarks of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu that the man that has come to be known as the ‘Modimolle monster’, Johan Kotze, has the potential to be a ‘saint’ is defensible given the nature of crimes Kotze is alleged (since he is yet to be found guilty by a court of law) to have committed, Tutu’s remarks for me raised two question that have always bothered me.

The one question is, in what way do we as a society continue to breed people with the capacity to commit ‘inhuman, ghastly and monstrous deeds’ such as we are seeing nowadays?

To just wash our hands off and reclassify such people as ‘sub-humans’ and ‘monsters’ is like standing in front of a mirror and denying that the image reflected on the other side holds any semblance to the character beholding such an image.

It is Kahlil Gibran who wrote that “...even as the holy and righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you, so the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also.”


 I am convinced that the Modimolle horror story and many such stories that have made headlines in the past are but a symptom of a problem that is fast reaching boiling point in our society.


Unless we as a society are willing to face the man in the mirror we might wake up one day only to realise that he is more alive than we would like to admit and then it might be too late.

The other equally important question is, when do we as a society write someone off and wash our hands off the hope that still hidden somewhere in the farthest corner of their soul lies the capacity to be a better person?

I somehow agree with Tutu that by labeling Kotze a monster we are somehow ‘letting him off lightly … because monsters have no moral-sense of right and wrong’. It is one thing to say that he behaved like a monster. When we conclude that he is a monster we have relegated him into an unredeemable category. Then the logical thing to ask is should the Justice system still apply to someone that has lost the capacity to be human?

The story of the notorious co-founder of the Crips gang in Los Angeles Stan "Tookie" Williams in the mid 2000s comes to mind as it raised serious questions about capital punishment versus the possibility of redemption.

Despite the fact that Williams when in prison sought to turn his life around and ended up with multiple Nobel Peace Prize nominations for his work in encouraging peace and non-violence way among young people he was denied clemency and ended up being executed.

There are many people alive and dead who live or lived commendable lives yet they never come as close as being nominated for a single Noble Peace Prize. Yet here was a man on death row who at some point was considered a ‘vicious monster’ who somehow managed to find  in the farthest corner of his soul the capacity to be a better person again.

Given that our country which has a high rate of violent crimes is short of Tookie kind of examples, the question still remains, when do we as a society write someone off and wash our hands off the hope that still hidden somewhere in the farthest corner of their soul lies the capacity to be a better person?

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Nkanyiso Land Tumi
Fees must fall movement is unforg...

I am very shocked to see students protesting in the presence of police as if they're criminals. Read more...

0 comments 2330 views
Submitted by
De Wet Ferreira
Put the 'heal' Back into Mental H...

We all know what do when we cut or scratch ourselves, right? Our first response, without even thinking about it, is to go for the medicine cabinet – grabbing the antiseptic ointment and a plaster or two.  Read more...

0 comments 109 views
Submitted by
Colin Harding
Western cape dams are 30% lower t...

Not to understate the seriousness of the drought that South Africa is caught up in, I am a little concerned when local government state one statistic and the DWA have a different statistic. Read more...

0 comments 476 views
Submitted by
Logical Knowledge
Colonised Universal Branding

I can not help but wonder what Decolonised education entails. If it does not include Maths, Science, Biology, Engineering, Industrial progression what are you fighting for and about? Read more...

0 comments 433 views
Submitted by
Tony De Wijn
Fees can fall

Fees for university education can definitely be reduced or even eliminated completely.  Read more...

0 comments 154 views


E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

Interactive Advertising Bureau
© 2016 All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.