Brand SA suffers but this will pass

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Oscar Pistorius is a man of many facets. He gained the world’s attention when he became a Paralympic champion and, in 2011, became the first amputee to win an able-bodied world track medal. South Africa not only grew as a brand but was celebrated as a nation.

Today, Pistorius once again makes the headlines, and in sharp contrast to what he had become known for; he is accused of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The trial continues with the world’s eyes on South Africa, Pistorius and the justice system. According to Data Driven Insight, the Pistorius case is bigger than the World Cup, bringing in a whopping 8 800 articles an hour on the first day of the trial.

South Africa seems prone to projecting a negative image to the world and, with faults like the construction collusion that played a major part in World Cup infrastructure, the Pistorius case, the recent floods and mining strikes, it is difficult to look on the bright side.

However, there is a bright side.

With all the patriotism we can muster, let us congratulate the Competition Commission for uncovering illegal construction industry collusion, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for its progress on the small-scale fisheries policy and last, the relief afforded to drought-stricken farmers.

In the midst of difficult times, it is important to remember that South Africa as a brand is a work in progress, and this too shall pass.

Mamokhele Sebatane

Via e-mail

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