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Politbiero
 
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Waterkloof's number One

08 April 2014, 05:30

No, not thát number one, the other one.  The one who is serving jail sentence for murder.

The facts

Guy is found guilty of, among other things, murder.  He goes to jail, serves time, comes out of jail on parole with a bit of an attitude.  Shortly thereafter a video clip appears on YouTube showing the guy partying and being in possession of a laptop and a cellphone in his cell.  Somehow it sounds right to me that you may have a cellphone in a cell, but that’s just me.

Following the Youtube video, guy gets sent back to jail.  Shortly thereafter he gets caught with a cell phone in his possession.  For that he gets sent to Kokstad.  A maximum security facility.

And judging from the comments of readers on News24, the nation is in jubilation.

The core of the issue

What is the core issue here?  I’m still trying to figure it out, but I got as far as the following thoughts.

Having served part of his sentence, the guy was let out on parole, along with the other three members of the initial “Waterkloof 4”.  So it is fair to assume that they are not deemed to be a threat for society any more, and is considered to have paid at least part of their debt to society.

Following the guy’s re-incarceration the media ran numerous stories from which it is clear that having cellphones in your cell is pretty much par for the course.  You pay a warden, he brings it in.  That’s it.  Everyone does it. 

So what sets this guy apart from not only the rest of the “Waterkloof 4”, but also from the rest of thousands of inmates?

Arrogance, it seems.  Or perceived arrogance.  People respond differently to catastrophes in their lives.  Some prefer to go under the radar.  Other prefers to respond defiantly, hold their heads up, appears as if nothing bothers them.  It’s part of a defence mechanism.   

The discerning difference

It would seem that the only discerning difference between this guy and the other three, was the way he carried himself once out of jail.  If you think of it carefully, he really had his parole revoked because of his perceived arrogance.  The fact that he had a cellphone with him is but part of the problem.  But that cannot be the real reason, because we now know that virtually all inmates (with a bit of money) have those.

After the second phone was found with him, he got sent to Kokstad.  Now, according to an earlier newspaper reports, the raid during which the cellphone was found in his possession, rendered a fruitful 134 cellphones.  And only one of those was this guy’s.  The rest belonged to other inmates. 

So what happened to the other 133 inmates?

I understand Kokstad is a maximum security facility where you send hardened criminals to; the place where you put people who are a threat to society.  But not too long ago, this guy was let out on parole.  So the parole board was happy that the does not pose a threat to society.  Maybe he does not respond well to discipline either, but very few people get sent to jail for that, let alone a maximum security jail.

Popular demand

Reading the comments on News24 on any story about this guy renders a condensed collection of the most amazing vitriol.  It would seem that anyone with a bit of pent-up anger chooses to let it loose on this guy.  It’s a bit like name calling in school:  once it started, there seems to be no way of stopping.  Everyone just latches on to harrass the poor fellow saddled with the nickname.

Now, contrary to what you may think after having read to this far, I am not flying the flag for this Waterkloof #1.  However, what amazes me is how hundreds of people unleash their condensed anger on one guy, not for the fact that he murdered somebody a decade ago, but primarily because he is arrogant.

Sending the guy to Kokstad seems like the fashionable thing to do for the Department of Correctional services.  It is a move that they knew would clearly be applauded, given obvious public sentiments.  A popular decision. 

But setting aside for a moment your dislike for what you may view as an arrogant person, does an extended jail term and relocation to a maximum security jail really fit the crime essentially of being arrogant?    

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