OPINION | Mahlodi Muofhe: Following violence and unrest South Africa needed a dash of hope

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Tatjana Schoenmaker with her gold medal.
Tatjana Schoenmaker with her gold medal.
Roger Sedres/Gallo Images

In a month where South Africa saw the worst of our country, Mahlodi Muofhe welcomes the South Africans who allowed us to hold our heads up high following the violence and looting.

Far away from South Africa, her mother country, our proudly South African swimming heroine Tatjana Schoenmaker smashed the 200m women's breaststroke final at the Olympics last week. Not only did she smash it but her ambassadorial world record time of 2:18.95 showed the world that South Africa can rise to the occasion amid the problems we recently faced when the destroyers of hope sought to bring South Africa to her knees by looting and destroying properties in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. 

In another part of the world, coach Pitso Mosimane hoisted our South African flag after aiding AI Ahly football team from Cairo Egypt to its ninth Caf Champions League win. What a proud moment it was for me to  see one of our own, shouldering our South African flag in the belly of the Mohamed V Stadium in Casablanca, Morocco.   

Burning Madiba's spirit

The spirit of Madiba burnt when the destroyers of hope dastardly burnt, smashed and looted businesses and destroyed the future of his grandchild and great-grandchildren and what he fought for during his birth month.

Schoenmaker and Mosimane were the ones to bandage Madiba's burn wounds and those of all South Africans who value what Nelson Mandela stood for. I am immensely proud of South Africans who shoulder and hoist our South African flag by positively doing good for our country and work hard to stimulate our ailing economy ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic.         

READ | Anant Singh: July mayhem: How do we heal after the chaos?  

Ambassadors of hope like Schoenmaker and Mosimane appreciate that our country has been an outcast of the global family because of past draconian apartheid misrule laws. As they hoisted up the flag, I imagined that they subconsciously said: 'Madiba, your sweat, toil and fierce struggle to free SA to become a democracy was not in vain'.       

Looting is not revolutionary                      

How I wish I could lavish the same accolades on those who in their misguided thieving wicked 'RET 'notion, smashed, trashed and looted businesses meant to be our golden egg to create the much needed jobs especially for our many unemployed youth. There is no way in which I can. The definition of their flawed 'RET 'is laid bare at the Commission of inquiry into state capture, commonly known as the Zondo Commission.

Conspiracy to destroy businesses and incite vulnerable people to loot can in no way be deemed 'revolutionary'. This is criminal conduct which must be met by the full might of our criminal justice system irrespective of the age of those who commit them. There is, in any event, no provision in our Constitution that exempts the aged or the infirm from prosecution and custodial incarceration when they have wronged society. 

No South African flag should be shouldered and hoisted for anyone who offends it and our Constitution.

- Advocate Mahlodi Muofhe was until recently the domestic head of the State Security Agency.

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