European and UK press jumped on the story with glee. Reporting extensively, particularly in light of South Africa's upcoming World Cup hosting.
Another angle of delight was the white-on-black hysteria, reporting that thousands of white farmers were being killed on a daily basis in SA, in a war "that you won't read about in your World Cup holiday brochure".
Even once we got through the World Cup without incident, the UK press weren't going to let go of the "natives are restless" narrative that easily. SA was left 'bracing itself' for post-World Cup violence, "as police numbers [were] scaled down after the tournament".
Cut to just over a year later. The world remembers a highly successful tournament with very noisy implements called "voo-vah-zeee-lahs". Or similar mispronunciation.
In the last four days, several areas in the UK experienced outbreaks of violence, with various groups of youths destroying property and looting shops. It is yet to be determined what they are actually protesting. I don't think they even know. All they know is that no one is stopping it. Authorities have been caught completely unprepared and now seem to be in a state of shock as to how to deal with the large-scale ransacking.
And now the SA press is reporting about concerns for security in London's Olympic hosting for next year. My how the tables have turned.
This is a sign of a nation in distress; a nanny state crying out for discipline. A truncheon and an Alsatian on a leash are not going to quell this in a hurry.
I could never support police brutality, just as I could never condone domestic violence. But there is a difference between abuse and discipline. It's a fine line, but an important one. Without proper means of dispersion the looters are in control, and will remain so. And they know it.