THE EDITOR: At the outset, let me join the national community in expressing my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Andrea Bharatt, Ashanti Riley, Asami Nagakiya and all other victims of senseless and heinous crimes.
However, as I reflect on the current outrage being expressed in the public domain, particularly by some politicians and government officials, I am forced to ponder on the sincerity of it all.
Don’t get me wrong, I am certain on a human level they all understand and sympathise with the family and friends of the victim, but one can only wonder whether it goes beyond that and beyond them (their own political self-interest).
I mean, is the Opposition really concerned that our young men, women, and children – our future generations – are daily being slaughtered in the streets? What of the Government, does it really care about addressing the deep-seated issues facing our society or is it simply looking for quick fixes, proverbial plasters for the sores?
Of course, the Government is opportunistically citing its proposals for stricter bail laws and lack of Opposition support, as well as its plans to add some 129 new courtrooms at the waterfront. Obviously positive and commendable moves, but certainly that can’t be the panacea to our societal ills.
Simply adding more courts, passing more laws and placing more accused in jail – the criminal university – some of whom are bound to be innocent, by the way, does not address the underlying root cause. In fact, if history is to be of any guide, I would argue it does the opposite.
Surely much more is required, starting with the need to overhaul the entire dysfunctional justice system, from the poor investigation and evidential practices of the police to the ineffectual prosecution by the State and seemingly societal disconnect of judicial officers.
Our politicians and leaders must not be allowed to volubly acknowledge that ten- and 15-year trials are common place or unacceptable, without synchronously providing reasonable and modern solutions to the problem.
As a society, we must therefore demand that all of the stakeholders work together to ensure that Lady Justice is not dead, but simply blind. That justice is not delayed, nor denied.
We must all ask ourselves: is enough really enough? How many more must die before we realise and accept our roles and responsibility in its perpetuation, be it through our silence, turning a blind eye or active participation? How many more?