I witnessed a murder, now what?

2011-11-29 07:35

David Moseley

I suppose like most things that leave you distressed, this came out of nowhere. It was just another ordinary Saturday morning. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping in the garden, and absolutely nothing indicated what I would observe later in the day.

I guess that’s why the survivor is always the one left with the emotional scars; yes, you’ve lived through a terrible ordeal, but you just never see it coming in the first place, and that’s all the more terrifying.

I was at a shopping mall on Saturday (my first fatal error on a payday weekend) to collect a particular item. And that’s when it happened. At first there were just distracting noises; loud wailing, feverish bellowing and the bizarre thumping of some tribal drum that clearly signalled a demented ritual in full flight.

Disturbing noises

The noises grew louder and I knew something was wrong. The chilling music became more unkempt, wild almost, it was more insistent, while people all around me looked increasingly dazed, like someone had brainwashed them upon entering the shopping centre.

Following the agonised source of the screams and brutal cries of dismay, I rushed passed the hordes of dazed shoppers. But it was too late. There, right in front of my eyes, I saw it all unfold. The horror. The inhumanity. The callous ease in which a beautiful thing can be destroyed in a matter of heartless, unthinking moments.

I saw the death of Christmas, nay, I heard and the saw the death of Christmas on Saturday, and it was one of the most distressing things I’ve ever witnessed. The centre may as well have had a stuffed Santa hanging from a noose, for that’s how damaging their Christmas display is in 2011. The management staff at Cavendish Square have much to answer for, because no amount of therapy will wipe this trauma from my mind.

The death of Carol

Carol went first. Beautiful, soulful, sweet, uplifting and engaging carol. She never stood a chance. For so many years you provided Christmas celebrations with charming songs and happy melodies. Men, women and children sat together to enjoy the feelings of love and joy you spread.

And now you're gone, blitzed like a wartime city by an A Cappella group of singers (shouters?) so incompetent and tuneless they make Rebecca Black sound like Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

Silent Night was rendered unholy night on this traumatic day, while Jingle Bells and other favourites were well and truly sleighed. If the reformed Scrooge happened to be at Cavendish on this damning day, he’d take one earful of the goings on, spit in the eyes of the Christmas Spirits Past, Present and Future, and bitterly proclaim "bah humbug" as he stormed out past the R1000 Christmas trees and other over-priced decorative baubles.

Joy, happiness and wonder all followed on after carol, stabbed, strangled, bound up in duct tape and thrown off the nearest bridge into a busy motorway, and now all replaced by soulless, demented and glassy-eyed shoppers. Not sure what they are doing, doing it surely for reasons they can’t comprehend and for people who won't appreciate it anyway.

I saw it all disappear this weekend. I saw it burn to the ground, screaming in agony, with silver and red tinsel adding fuel to the flame. It’s gone. All done. I saw Christmas getting murdered. Christmas is dead.

- Follow @david_moseley on Twitter

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  • Mary - 2011-11-29 07:46

    Poor Virginia...

      Go - 2011-11-29 10:24

      What a load of rubbish, if you dont have a decent article dont publish anything !!!!!!!!

      Matthew - 2011-11-29 11:50

      What a load of bollocks, please can I have the two minutes of my life back that I spent reading this utter effluent drivel. I mean really, this is so bad that I actually puked a bit into my mouth at the end of it.

      StarStruck - 2011-11-29 14:25

      You got quite a bit of hits from this one David, Well done. Was there a bonus cheque dangled in front of your nose?

      Oneant - 2011-11-29 14:25

      wow matthew.. you're so cool... i wanna be like you.

      325is - 2011-11-29 14:38

      i rather read the Daily Sun than this rubbish!!!

      nikondaniel - 2011-11-29 16:33

      This guy should be banned from writing.

      Matthew - 2011-11-30 12:32

      @Oneant - Get the looks, the wit, the intelligence, and a slightly dont-give-a-f!@#-attitude, and you will be halfway there.

  • Kevin - 2011-11-29 07:51

    desperate stuff News24, rather leave the page blank!

      Angela - 2011-11-29 08:04

      Totally agree. Such self-indulgent writing. Quite unnecessary actually.. moving on.

      Eric - 2011-11-29 08:10

      It's almost like it's a column(shock, horror). /sarcasm

      Carla - 2011-11-29 14:52

      You have a choice what you want to read. I found it quite entertaining. Well done.

      Go - 2011-11-29 15:08

      @carla - you're very easily entertained lol

      Carla - 2011-11-29 19:35

      @Go - I saw the lighter side of the piece. I saw shock the read the caption but as I read on, I was giggling at this tongue in check story :)

  • Chris - 2011-11-29 08:01

    I've read this twice and still have no idea what it's about. Something about bad Christmas carol singers at Cavendish?

      tristan.kilian - 2011-11-29 08:51

      Why would you read it twice? Did someone have a gun to your head?

  • tanya.bekker - 2011-11-29 08:13

    LOL!! I love it, well written and very true.

      Gerhard Uys - 2011-11-29 10:47

      Im gonna have to report you.

      ivan.coetzee2 - 2011-11-29 11:23

      You cant be serious Tanya???This is the biggest load crap EVER published, in fact it should never have been. What's wrong with you and David??

      owamin1 - 2011-11-29 17:49

      @ivan.coetzee - Tanya is either related to the writer, or is a fan who earns points from praising the writer. It's the only explanation.

  • Johncarlos ? Biza - 2011-11-29 08:15

    Haven't enjoyed many of your columns this year. Anyways, christmas deserves to die. It brainwashes christians to indulge in materialism, something I'm sure the bible has a lot to say about.

      Sunett - 2011-11-29 09:39

      Now, that's not very nice, is it? Christmas deserves to die? I am a Christian, and just for the record, not everyone celebrates Christmas for the gifts etc. It's about family, and love, and being grateful. And yes, I know that the 25th of Dec is not the right date, bla bla. But that's not the point! The point is that we take a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus, it might as well be in March! Doesn't matter. What is wierd though, is that all the non-believers are also shopping for presents and trees... what exactly are they celebrating? "We don't believe - Christians are brainwashed... ooh, can I get a new watch for Xmas...?" Puhleez. At least I know why I'm celebrating. Coz I believe. Without proof. That's why it's called "faith". Shoe, babbling today! Skies, ne?

      NuttyZA - 2011-11-29 12:25

      Sunett.. Christmas is celebrated by non christians BECAUSE it is not a Christian holiday. I feel as much entitled to "hijack" a christian holiday and celebrate goodwill to all mankind just as the christians hijacked the pagan one... and that is why ity is celebrated on 25th is "dies natalis solis invicti" the birth of the unconquered sun... where exactly do you think the tradition of a Christmas tree comes from??? not christianity but paganism.... I believe that pink faeries live at the bottom of my garden ... Without proof... I also have faith!!!

      Sunett - 2011-11-29 13:26

      @NuttyZA - I know that the Christmas tree comes from paganism and all that. My point was that saying Christmas deserves to die is way harsh. Sorry if we "hijacked" your celebration date, but like I said, it's not important. I also don't think that Christmas is celebrated by non Christians because it is not a Christian holiday - I think people have forgotten what Christmas is supposed to be about. People don't stop to think and give thanks. They just shop shop shop, hand out gifts, admire their tree and enjoy the public holiday. What you're saying doesn't make sense to me... Celebrating Christmas day because it's not Christmas? HOWEVER - we agree on one thing, and that is that it is (also) about goodwill to all mankind. I don't judge people who don't believe, I have very dear, close friends who don't agree with me at all. And I think it's only fair that I don't be judged because I DO believe in God (like being called "brainwashed" by Mr Johncarlos). You believe what you want - just as long as no one gets hurt. And I believe what I want, same rules apply. Doesn't mean we shouldn't get along... right?

      NuttyZA - 2011-11-29 13:54

      Sunett, the majority of my friends/people I know ARE Christians so no, no reason we can't get along... I generally have no problem in what other people believe, just when ppl try and ram their opinions down others throats or try and impose their own personal set of moral values on others... Christmas for me has always been about being good to your fellow man, a time of giving and hapiness. I don't see any reason to attach any religious connotation to it... I never have, still my favourite time of the year!!!

      Randomhero6661 - 2011-11-29 14:33

      @sunett...gepopels... i feel bad for you but hey ! haha

  • Dirk - 2011-11-29 08:18

    Christmas means "celebrating Christ". Then it became Xmas- Christ was conveniently removed with an X. And now its " Happy holidays" Now its just a shopping frenzy, a booze-up, an excuse for disgusting behaviour. What is next?

      Azurite - 2011-11-29 08:43

      More in-depth meaning: The word Christmas originated as a compound meaning "Christ's Mass". It is derived from the Middle English Christemasse and Old English Cristes mæsse, a phrase first recorded in 1038. "Cristes" is from Greek ???st?? Christos and "mæsse" is from Latin missa (the holy mass). I agree, I personally hate it!

      Azurite - 2011-11-29 11:00

      So funny that I agree with Dirk, but get more thumbs down....too many trolls on the net....sigh....

      Michael - 2011-11-29 12:28

      @azurite. Do you even know what a troll is? @Johncarlos, pray tell me sir, how can a man made holiday, brain wash anyone? As far as indulging in materialism, please tell me, why is it only Christians that indulge in this horrible sin? You must be perfect, so pious, and pure. Remember that next time you go buy a gift for anyone, on any holiday\celebration, including someones birthday. The troll be you sir, as this little rant of yours makes no sense what so ever, except for the plain purpose of looking for a fight with those who you fear so much. Christians. Either that or you are incredibly short sited and ignorant. To quote from the book that you obviously do not respect, but so apt in this case. "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? "

      Randomhero6661 - 2011-11-29 14:35

      @ Michael what is a troll? Because i have no F@cking idea!

      Randomhero6661 - 2011-11-29 14:37

      haha...i have never seen a plank in one's eye it just wouldn't work...haha sorry i disagree with that book but thats my story not yours and you not wrong but seriously a plank? figure of speech gone FAIL!

      Michael - 2011-12-01 03:40

      @Randomhero6661 yes, and curiosity really killed the cat. Have you not noticed every time you get a bit nosy, someones cat dies? On top of that, every time you display your ignorance, a fairy loses her wings. You sir, are responsible for a lot of walking fairy's. Talk about FAIL! Good grief, do you have your sign? The one that says "Stupid". Here is another one for you. Rather keep your mouth shut and let people think that you are stupid, than open it and remove all doubt. As for your stupid question, a troll is that fat little monster under your bed. Google it, chop.

      Shannon - 2011-12-02 18:09

      The X in Xmas is shorthand commonly used in academia--X (chi) is the first letter of the Greek word Christos. It's not taking Christ out of Christmas (such a tired old saw), it's an abbreviation. It's no different than the fact that I usually sign letters and emails S. rather than Shannon.

  • Hennie - 2011-11-29 08:22

    So what happened. You forgot to tell us why you saw the death of christmas... Mmmm.... I think you got caught up on your rant a little bit, now we sit here in confusion, because we have no clue.

  • wbarnard - 2011-11-29 08:29

    Christmas is dead! The money making scam is dead!

      Michael - 2011-11-29 12:18

      it's only a money making scam, because stupid consumers like you, make it so. What did you get your boyfriend for valentines day?

  • Bogoshi - 2011-11-29 08:33


  • capetownfly - 2011-11-29 08:36

    Is this article for real ? Really news24.

  • Tyron - 2011-11-29 08:37

    I think David is suffering from writer's block. His columns are getting worse and worse, no humour, and about mundane drivel!

  • Errol - 2011-11-29 08:45

    What a desperately CRAP article!!!!!

  • Ronel - 2011-11-29 08:58

    Wow, really? This is the type of rubbish we read on News24 now? Time for a switch.

  • Deon - 2011-11-29 09:14

    It sounds like you saw a re run of Saders against Stormers earlier this year.

  • Anna - 2011-11-29 09:18

    Considering the country that we live in, and how many people are actually affected, the title is desperately unfunny.

      Mafaka - 2011-11-29 12:20

      Agree 100% with you Anna, this is absolutely disgusting stuff from David and News24... come on News24, I really want to believe that you guys have some morals??

  • Drake - 2011-11-29 09:21

    Looks like you’ve upset the bovine cavalry, David. Not one of your best…

  • CarlS - 2011-11-29 09:23

    I want the last 2 minutes of my life back.

  • AntiThesis - 2011-11-29 09:38

    Probably, no wait.....definitely one of THE worst articles ever to grace the virtual pages of News24. A lame attempt to catch readers attention with an emotional topic, and then a completely incoherent lot of nonsense. Shocking.

  • Herman - 2011-11-29 09:55

    You must have a lot of wasteful time on your hands to write utter useless nonsence like this.....

  • Justin - 2011-11-29 09:57

    I remember that good ol Christmas Spirit....and it is sorely missed. All those who are complaining about an article such as this would only be proving your point.....the general public are throwing those 'body bags' into the river and are here to comment about it....

  • Justin - 2011-11-29 09:59

    I remember that good ol Christmas Spirit....and it is sorely missed. All those who are complaining about an article such as this would only be proving your point.....the general public are throwing those 'body bags' into the river and are even here to comment about it....

  • Stephanie - 2011-11-29 10:11

    Gee - this was a complete rubbish.

  • Bandile - 2011-11-29 10:23


  • Gerhard Uys - 2011-11-29 10:54

    Im glad Im not getting any christmas gifts from you, David.

  • ricardodasilvasj - 2011-11-29 10:57

    Not sure what I think about this; but it does, I think, question something important...

  • ivan.coetzee2 - 2011-11-29 11:18

    You total idiot, give up writing articles.

  • Andrea - 2011-11-29 11:19

    usually like your columns but it's not cool to bandy around 'witnessing a murder' when it is something many people have gone through in truth.

  • taurais - 2011-11-29 11:24

    The worst writing I have seen in a while, wish i could get back the minute that i wasted reading the first 3 paragraphs before i realized what dog manure this piece is!!

  • PGPops - 2011-11-29 11:29

    Where's the "unlike" button? Sensationalist headline dragged me around the corner into this dark alley full of garbage. Will avoid Moseley in future.

  • Leonard - 2011-11-29 11:34

    What a load of twaddle! David go on holiday before it's too late. There is no doubt that your sanity is at risk.

  • Gerhard Uys - 2011-11-29 11:36

    I wonder how many people would have read this article with a heading like "The end of Christmas ? " ?

  • Mouldy - 2011-11-29 11:40

    David, how do you keep coming up with the trash you spew on almost a daily basis? What we witness in the malls has nothing to do with Christmas and everthing to do with money. Christmas is celebrated by Christians in their homes and in their churches. Go away and come back when you have something intelligent to contribute. Take Moerdyk with you while you at it, he's even worse than you.

  • Schalk - 2011-11-29 11:48

    Your article both shocks and appals me; that a "professional" person could write something I would happily attribute to a school child, albeit not a particularly bright one. Not only was the style literary poor and lacking in any sort of texture, but the overall portrayal and communication of the story left me weeping for the state of writing in this country. Often the education system or internet is blamed for the poor state of writing as a whole, whereas a self-proclaimed "washed up hack" gets off with no credit.

  • zterblanche - 2011-11-29 12:01

    Worst. Column. Ever.

  • ShaneJacoby - 2011-11-29 12:05

    Please read my story: Star Wars - South African edition

  • Tennille - 2011-11-29 12:22

    Actually Christmas as we know it was celebrated 217 years before the birth of Christ by the Romans and it was called Saturnalia, and it fell on, you guessed it, 25 December as the Romans calculated this day to be the longest night and shortest day after which summer would be on its way. Winter Solstice was also celebrated by the pagans, and Slavic nations

      Dannielle - 2011-11-29 13:08

      actually the longest night and shortest day is 21st of June.

      barry.mcbride - 2011-11-29 13:35

      @Dannielle: LOL, the length of day & night is the same throughout the year BTW, i.e. less light, but time remains!

      Tennille - 2011-11-29 14:16

      Dannielle in the Northern Hemisphere, where the Romans lived, in Rome (insert facepalm) the longest day and shortest night is 21-22 December and their longest day shortest night is on 21 June. We are in the Southern Hemisphere which is why the reverse is true for us.

  • Gus - 2011-11-29 12:24

    What utter snot !!! It was like watching paint dry...

      Drake - 2011-11-29 12:28

      "it was like watching paint dry" - And other clichés?

      Heiku - 2011-11-29 17:08

      Drake: Yes other ones too.

  • Mafaka - 2011-11-29 12:28

    David I think you need a holiday, you obviously need one...

  • christo.d.plessis - 2011-11-29 12:32

    I will never read anything you write ever again, can I please have my mouse click back?

  • Bennie - 2011-11-29 12:44

    For those of you who need a lesson in reading and comprehension, all Mr Moseley is trying to say to you, is that he is disappointed in the way people celebrates Christmas these days: it has become a commercial, money-making racket...and how bad the attempt, to create a Christmas atmosphere, by this particular mall is. And I fully agree with him!

      Chris - 2011-11-29 12:53

      He can't be nearly as disappointed with that as we all were with this article.

      Drake - 2011-11-29 12:56

      The message is a truism – the holiday, the religion or the fact that both have submitted to commerce does not warrant a full article. We love reading David’s columns but this is not up to standard – that’s all…

      Rohin - 2011-11-29 13:28

      Maybe you should have written the article then Bennie, cause he lost his message behind his attempt at dramatization and creative writing.

      christo.d.plessis - 2011-11-29 13:33

      He lied in his title, that p!ssed me off enough, then I started to read his piece )-:

  • Dannielle - 2011-11-29 13:06

    Christmas has indeed turned into a money making racket....but for those of us believers in Christianity or not that wish to celebrate it, its OUR choice, not yours so if you dont want to spend money on gifts...Then DONT no one asked you to! and if we want to spend money on gifts, thats OUR choice! Dont be a bunch of hateful hags just coz we want to spend our hard earned money on things for our loved ones.

  • Adnaan - 2011-11-29 13:13 wasted on this article...time to go to ....enter

  • Phil - 2011-11-29 13:15


  • Rohin - 2011-11-29 13:25

    Clever use of tabloid tactics to create a dramatic headline to lure readers to read this. I've give you that. But that's it.

  • valkyriaza - 2011-11-29 13:39

    Thank goodness David doesn't get paid to write.

  • mattcredible - 2011-11-29 13:40

    I actually still don't know what the hell you're talking about? What actually happened? Besides a gross use of personification, this is some of the worst tripe I've read so far from this David guy and usually I actually think people attack his writing unnecessarily. This load of rubbish has taken the cake though. Why not consider this article your "swan song" and bow out graciously, now. Before you get any worse?

  • Dewald G. - 2011-11-29 13:43

    Fucjk me. Leave the page blank next time, m'kay?

  • Hennie - 2011-11-29 13:51

    What the F ??? Is this Guy on Drugs???

  • jamie.chennells - 2011-11-29 13:56

    Reading this was a waste of my life.

  • dayne.benjamin - 2011-11-29 14:04

    Does anyone else think that this Moseley character looks like Phil from Modern Family??? Oh and by the way. What a load of...if this is journalism then Juju should take this up with his standard 7 education.