Accepting the blame

2008-12-11 00:00

On Monday, kwaito singing star Mandoza pleaded guilty to two charges of culpable homicide, admitting that in March this year he caused a road accident in which two people died — a classic instance of what may happen when a driver’s judgment is impaired by alcohol.

He was sentenced to 48 months in jail, suspended for five years, and was ordered to pay funeral expenses for the deceased and to make monthly payments to their families. According to the magistrate he exhibited true remorse during sentencing and later expressed to reporters his belief that “Africans should have empathy with one another” and should “take responsibility for their actions”.

And so Mandoza set a fine example, admitting his guilt, showing genuine contrition, and being willing to do whatever is legally required in an attempt to make amends. None of this will, of course, erase the deaths, but it may be that the example set by this intelligent and

popular public figure will inspire others to step forward, own up to their misdeeds and accept whatever punishment is imposed. Certainly, Mandoza’s story is in brave and refreshing contrast to those of many other public figures, drunk drivers among them, who have resorted to endless legal ducking and diving, attempting to weasel their way out of their crimes rather than honestly face the music.

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