Apr 02 2009

No impunity for Dube’s killers

Category: Uncategorized<ADMINNICENAME> @ 9:00 PM

Criminal prosecutions move slowly in South Africa, but in the case of murdered reggae star, Lucky Dube, justice was delivered this week.

Three men accused of robbing and killing Dube in 2007 were sentenced to life imprisonment, the harshest penalty possible in a country without the death penalty.

There are no lessons in Dube’s murder, but there is an awful metaphor: Africans continue to suffer gravely from self-inflicted wounds. Whether because of poverty or inequality, foreign exploitation or domestic, many talented people are devoured day by day. The pathologies of ordinary life continue to consume the well-endowed and the less-endowed alike.

Dube’s death is a reminder that the inequities within African countries now loom as large, or even larger, than the gulf between Africa and the rest of the world. Dube’s killers said they did not recognize him; they thought they were killing a Nigerian, a wealthy immigrant to their country. Their casual rationalization highlights the everyday resentments, in African cities especially, that increasingly creates urban worlds where haves and have-nots co-exist in the shadow of violence.

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