Graduation to grief

Photo courtesy Pixabay
Photo courtesy Pixabay

THE LITTLE boy’s graduation was supposed to be a joyful day. Instead, an unimaginable horror was bestowed on him and his family. Dead, his mother lay in the road, gunned down by assailants who used, presumably, automatic firearms. She was a state witness in a murder case.

We register our utter disgust at this appalling incident. The State must do everything in its power to offer counselling and support to the family of Candy McIntyre. Her son now graduates to a new phase of life, one in which he will be irreparably scarred by the loss of his mother, and in such brutal circumstances. Heart-wrenching footage of the immediate aftermath is just the start of this journey of pain.

It is also yet another testimonial of the callousness of today’s criminal. No place is sacred. No one is immune. No life is valued, no circumstance cause for pause. The only beat which is being marched to is the frenzy of bullets.

Where are these guns coming from? Why can’t we not stop them from bathing our streets with blood? Belmont Circular Road, a street filled with students, one day. Santa Barbara Boulevard, Santa Cruz, a school graduation, the next. We are in the grip of a terrible menace.

Was McIntyre in a witness protection programme? Did she refuse protection? There are sensitive matters which must now be reviewed by law enforcement authorities. Whatever their subtlety and nuance, the murder was a most public affair, one which endangered several people, including random members of the public, and calls for accountability to that extent.

We share in the pain of those close to the victim. What is particularly heinous is the fact that McIntyre has been said to have played a role in a criminal trial years ago. We do not know whether there is a link. But our questions remain relevant. It is particularly distressing when people who are brave enough to come forward to be a part of the criminal justice system are violated.

Is no witness safe?

But at a most basic level, for a 36-year-old woman to be gunned down as she attends the graduation of her son is sickening. The perpetrators must be identified, a proper investigation must ensue, and appropriate legal action taken. The community must rally behind this matter. It must offer support to grieving relations. It must resist succumbing to paralysis. We cannot let crime undermine our society. What is needed now is faith that justice will be served.

That faith is a lot to ask for in the circumstances. Which is why the State must now do what it must to give us, within the bounds of law and order, a miracle.


"Graduation to grief"

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