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Fri Feb 22, 2013, 06:26 AM

Pistorius: South Africa bears and breeds these men - good read

Oscar Pistorius is emblematic of South Africa. The story of a disfigured man rising above his own unfortunate history to shine heroically is in synch with the mythology of a country disfigured by apartheid; a country that rose above this terrible past, for a flickering second, to become an international symbol of humanity's triumph over adversity and what is most evil in man.

However, the truth about South Africa's peaceful transition and the everyday of democracy is as messy as the contested version of events on February 14, when Pistorius is alleged to have killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

But for all the parallels between the double amputee and the country he represented so heroically on the running tracks of the Paralympic and Olympic Games there is now a fracture. In Pistorius's defence of his shooting of Steenkamp whom in his affidavit he stated he mistook for a burglar the man dubbed the Blade Runner has articulated, to the point of triteness, the most popularly espoused white middle-class South African paranoia.

Pistorius talked of being "acutely aware" of crime. Of the fear of "violent crime being committed by intruders" in his home a post-apartheid narrative, consistently told by white South Africans. Yet studies have generally shown that black South Africans are most often the victims of fatal violent crime.

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