By Tafi Mhaka

Martin Benitez Torres did not have to die at the age of 33 on June 11, 2016. Not at all Omar Mateen. Being gay should not be a life long death sentence. Each to his own Mr. Mateen sounds sexy enough for me. I shudder to call you Mister Mateen though. Even in death you are a hateful monster.

Family after family in Orlando had to bury a son: some may have buried their first born son; some may have buried their youngest son; some may have buried their adopted son. Family after family had to bury a daughter; some may have buried their college-going daughter; some may have buried their one and only daughter; some may have buried their eldest daughter, who may have been married. They all had to bury a lifetime of happy memories and lost opportunities for good because of you. Who knows if their time to die had come on that dreadful night? You played God on us and snuffed the life out of 49 partygoers for being in a gay nightclub. You had to play God on us.

Where is the religious morality in shedding blood and strangling the life out of humanity in the dead of the night? You played God on us in the most dangerous terrorist attack on US soil since Osama Bin Laden and his foot soldiers struck the heart of the empire.

Nasha’at Melhem: you played God on us too. So they dared to have some drinks and pub food in a pub in Tel-Aviv. They dared to breathe and live life a little. You hated them for it? So you turned to a submachine gun and heartlessly pumped endless rounds of bullets into them on 1 January, 2016. What a way to begin a new year right? Three people died on the streets of Tel-Aviv for being born Israeli. Your family had to bury you at Arara cemetery on 12 January this year. Your supporters hailed you as a martyr for the Palestinian fight for freedom.

This you hate of yours, Mr. Melhem: What did it do for you or your supporters?

You are dead and gone somewhere. Perhaps you see me from up there or down there. Perhaps your spirit is fighting a lone crusade for emancipation in the afterlife. What did killing a taxi driver do for you? Did it resolve the Israeli-Palestinian crisis or make it harder to find a lasting peaceful solution? Because of you: Alon Bakal left us at the age of 26. Shimon Ruimi made it to the next world at the age of 29. And you left us at the age of 31.

What a terrible loss of humanity.

Did you hear about Shimon Peres up there? We buried him at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016 at the Great Leaders of the Nation section between former Israeli Prime Minsters Yitzhak Rabin and Yitzhak Shamir. Do you remember that Yasser Arafat left us in 2004? Well: his and their time is gone to be sure. This is the time for a fresh start for Palestinians. This is the time to forge a fresh path for the future of Israelis and Palestinians for generations to come. This is the time to bury the animosity of past, isn’t it, Mr. Melhem?

Let us bury the hate of times gone by. Let us not bury Victor Rethabile Mlotshwa alive in a coffin and film it for the world to see as well because he is a black man. I do not know what he did to infuriate the men in the video shot at JM De Beer Boerdery next to Komati Power Station, close to Middelburg in Mpumalanga; but such hate is utterly contemptible and extremely dangerous.

Let us not nurture a Martin Benitez Torres or a Nasha’at Melhem on these shores.

Let us not get comfortable with this hate.

Let us bury this hate for life South Africa.


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