Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tough and tragic times.

Two days of HECTIC running around. This afternoon, as I finally sit still and take a moment to breathe, I can honestly say I am starving as I haven't had a chance to eat breakfast or lunch. It was that manic!
Yesterday's run around was all about the e-tv debacle - tracing the guy who killed himself. He couldn't handle the fallout from his TV appearance on Friday night when he publicly declared that he was a criminal planning to prey on foreigners coming her for the soccer world cup. This had triggered the wrath of our Safety and Security Minister and the chief of police who set detectives out to hunt him down.
I spoke to various people and pulled together the threads of the story, working together with my colleague SuperGirl who headed out to Jabulani in Soweto to speak to the dead man's family.
The suicide note he left told of his fears about what he had done, and implored the journalist who did the story to take care of the daughter he left behind. All very tragic indeed.
I have tried to reach the reporter who did the story, but he is nowhere to be found. I wonder if e-tv knows where he is, as the Hawks haven't been able to find him. I wonder how he is dealing with the awful, awful effects of what must have been a sensational scoop of a story he landed two weeks into his new job.
We've been pondering this at work amongst ourselves in the news room. It's a terrible thing to have happened. But it may become worse if it is discovered that the men who made brazen threats of violents and cocked a gun on national TV were not the real bad guys that they claimed to be, but were instead hamming it up for a bit of attention or to cause a bit of a reaction. What if?
We've heard from the family that the man who took his own life, who must have disappointed the optimistic mother who named him Lucky at birth, was once a criminal. But he had apparently paid his dues, served jail time and was rehabilitated. He had agreed to do the e-tv story in order to express his opinion of the police's shoot-to-kill policy.
It's going to take time for the facts to emerge. But they may not be of comfort to the bereaved family, an ambitious journalist, a daring news editor or a mourning daughter.
It makes me sad. One story and so much damage, pain and hurt.
I live for the happy stuff!

1 comment:

  1. I didn't see the program, and I only know the little bit that I've read online... but from what I've seen it was more than a little irresponsible.