My fear regarding the Akhona “shoplifting saga”

My fear regarding the Akhona “shoplifting saga”

By Tilo ngwana Rashaka

When I first read that Maggie Benedict was arrested for allegedly stealing a 125g packet of panado tablets from Checkers, I laughed off the report and told myself that it’s the Daily Sun and its sensationalized stories.

Sensationalized, yes, the article was heavily sensationalized. I never believed the story from the start and even now I don’t think is true.

However, it never crossed my mind that the news will soon attract so much media’s attention. Not only tabloid newspapers ran the story but quality newspapers of the likes of the Mail & Guardian and City Press also saw it as a perfect opportunity to run a story that will keep the audiences captivated after a weeklong of Mandela special reporting.

Reading the articles from different media outlets, it becomes explicit to me that the media is so much preoccupied with painting Maggie a thief and that they’ll do whatever it takes to prove correct their allegations.

My biggest fear is that if Maggie was once involved in a theft case, whether big or small, even at a young age, or any of her relative has a history of going in and out prison for theft or something related to that, the media will rope that into the picture to tarnish Maggie and prove that indeed she has a history of theft.

However, I pray and hope that it doesn’t get to that level. The media has victimized and thiefarized (if there’s such a word) Maggie enough.


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