Deon Meyer Comments on the International Media Coverage of the Oscar Pistorius Case
Hazlitt found that the Oscar Pistorius case has highlighted the media’s “propensity to take a sensational story in another country and blow it up into a portrait of an entire society”. With this in mind, they contacted Deon Meyer to give “a much-needed dose of perspective about what the case really means for South Africa.”
Meyer addressed the international media’s focus on the chief investigating officer, Hilton Botha, being charged with attempted murder, which led to general stories on the problems in the South African police force. He pointed out that these stories are “a very small part of a much bigger reality” that includes a majority of “good, hardworking, honest cops” that are facing major challenges.
Meyer described the situation the SAPS is currently in, saying that, “After the damage done by Apartheid to the image of police in South Africa, after the almost incomprehensible changes the Service had to go through since then, the huge loss of experience, two useless national commissioners, and a government that is failing us, much is left to be done. ”
The Oscar Pistorius-Reeva Steenkamp case has demonstrated at least one bad habit of the media: its propensity to take a sensational story in another country and blow it up into a portrait of an entire society. Hazlitt checks in with South African crime writer and former journalist Deon Meyer, author most recently of Seven Days, to get his take on how the case is playing out locally and around the world, providing a much-needed dose of perspective about what the case really means for South Africa.
- 7 Days by Deon Meyer
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