Louis Theroux : Law and disorder in Johannesburg

Posted by Paralyzer
Paralyzer
aluta continua!
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on Friday, 07 August 2009
in Digital Blogs

Hands up, all those who watched "Louis Theroux:  law and disorder in Johannesburg on BBC K last night".As you guys know I live in jo'burg town,in Newtown to be more appropriate, hillbrow is about 20 minutes walk from where i live. watching the doccie you'd think the entire town is run down.But it aint.Hillbrow is bad but every major city has its 'bad areas',London has its brixton ,New York has it's Baltimoore and Projects , Joburg has it's Hilbrows and "tough townships". Although it seemed Louis Theroux angle was just to uncover how bad the crime situation is in jozi and how the security guards /companies are complicit in making matters worse.And man did he uncover.

From dire conditions of hijacked buildings,the same San Jose that was used in Yizo Yizo 3, now looks worse of, to Diepsloot mob justice gone wrong. To gun-ho security guards in hillbrow,to interviews with hardned criminals telling their gory tales of brutality. Big bad Jozi was splashed out in colour for the world to watch and condemn.It's there ,we live with it and im not going to deny it. We have a lot of hardened criminals true,and a flawed and corrupt police system is not making things any easier.How many major cities are having issues with the same thing; rampant poverty,corrupt police officials ?Espicially in the 3rd world,I'd say many.

The doccie had one angle of showing how bad certain parts of Jo'burg are and there are plenty rottn apples in Jozi.But there are parts that have been reformed and have changed, parts of Joburg that are actually decent.These were convinietly skipped over.Nothing was shown on what the city is doing to rehabilitate the inner city or to combat crime like the mounted police and the foot patrol thats currently happening in the CBD. Never mind the CCTV system. Or what the police have to say about the private security institutions and their relationships with them.

Guys I'm not saying Jozi aint bad,but I'm saying there are always two sides to a tale and Theroux  gave us only one.I won't say he was sensatialist as such,but I'd say it was not proper investigative journalism,thats all. Although we have a problem but people are still able to walk, not all of us have high rised walls or electric gates, fences or a private security patrolling the streets.The doccie made seem as if one can't walk in town no more. Our crime is very violent and down town is over run but there is something being done and not all of Jozi is run down,corrupt and bad,just chunks of it,but not all.Some parts of the city have been reclaimed succesfully ,look at Ghandi square,look at Newtown, look at Fox street but we never get that in international documentaries.I wonder why?

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Comments

Guest
bluedeltaskye Friday, 07 August 2009

I watched the episode last night Paralyzer and I\'m still reeling. It was horrifying, sickening and extremely disturbing.

It makes me so sad that people overseas will view that episode and think that\'s what Johannesburg is all about.

Sadder still is the extreme brutality of our human race. No regard for life.

I have had a knot in my tummy since watching, strange for me as I am not easily upset.

Guest
Paralyzer Friday, 07 August 2009

theres alot of brutality in our country,one would say its a sign of the times.unfortuneatly corruption ists so pervasive that it has weakened the police force.but there are still beautiful things in this city,which are worth fighting for.evil thrives when we complacent with the status quo.

Guest
Dissol Friday, 07 August 2009

I did not see the episode in question (but no doubt DSTV will repeat it endlessly as that is how they choose to fill their channels...). However I don\'t think that Theroux is trying to give a balanced view. The style of his programs are sensationalist. Having seen some of his programs; I do not think that all christian churches act like the particular cult he portrayed in the States. I am sure that not all young people in Moscow are ardent racists, training for guerilla warfare. The programs do, however tell it how it is. He gives ample opportunity for the different people involved to air their views. We cannot deny the reality of what the programs expose. In that sense, they do serve a purpose; the producers go looking for the dirty, uncomfortable, dangerous side of life. I would suggest that most of his audience realises this.

However, good news does not sell. There is no audience for programs showing a typical day in the life of my own sleepy Boland town. No one would watch, as nothing happens!

Having said all that, as a young person growing up in Europe, because of the TV coverage, I thought that every urban area in South Africa looked like Soweto. The rural areas looked like the Kruger National Park. The inhabitants looked like either a young Nelson Mandela or Danie Craven! Thankfully that is not the case... on all counts! :p :grin

Guest
DBS Friday, 07 August 2009

Wished I had watched it will go check guide for repeat times

Guest
barrmar Saturday, 08 August 2009

I did not see the documentary. Unfortunately, you can film the bad part of any country, show it to foreign audiences and the result is a very false perception of the country.
Yes, we do live with high levels of crime but most of us are still able to live normal lives.
People work, the shopping malls are bustling and busy, people go out to clubs, theatres, cinemas, pubs, soccer and rugby matches, etc.
We have plenty that is good!
I will try to catch one of the repeats.

Guest
Bianca212 Saturday, 08 August 2009

I didn\'t see the episode, but I get the feeling he is informed by his father\'s opinions. I read his book (the name escapes me now) about his journey across Africa, and he was equally pessimistic about Africa in general and Johannesburg specifically. Maybe its genetic!

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