Trolls are also distinguished from their predecessors by seeming not to recognise any limits. Ridicule is an anti-social force: it tends to make people clam up and stop talking. So there is a point at which, if conversation and community are to continue, the joke has to stop, and the victim be let in on the laughter. Trolls, though, form a community precisely around the extension of their transgressive sadism beyond the limits of their offline personas. That the community consists almost entirely of people with no identifying characteristics – ‘anons’ – is part of the point. It is as if the laughter of the individual troll were secondary; the primary goal is to sustain the pleasure of the anonymous collective.
The following graphic by Media24 seems to illustrate, in pictures, what is wrong with our Police Service and with those politicians who use the Police Service to fight their political battles (inside and outside the ANC) or to enrich themselves. It also illustrates why we need a truly independent corruption fighting body that will be able to investigate these kinds of allegations and will be free from political interference by the Police Minister or the President.
Minister Nathi Mthethwa, who mislead the public last week about the use of a secret police fund to pay for a “security fence” around his home and has not yet apologised for misleading us, and President Jacob Zuma, who has been linked to Mdluli but has not made any statements about his reinstatement and the order by his Police Minister to stop an investigation into Mdluli’s alleged corrupt activities, owe citizens an explanation. In the absence of such an explanation all reasonable people will be hard pressed not to conclude that the Minister and the President – if not themselves implicated in this web of alleged corruption – is condoning it for purely short term political purposes.
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