What informs Archbishop Tutu’s berating of a Kotze “monster” appellation?

What is ArchBishop Tutu really pleading for in berating a Kotze monster description!!

The Star today carries an article and headline in front page articulating the views of Archbishop Emeriti Tutu on the infamous Johan Kotze, who stands accused of having killed his stepson at pointblank whilst the son’s mother had to hear her son’s terrifying pleas, and the quadruple rape of Mrs. Ina Bonnette at the hands of Kotze and allegedly forced workers.

Though Kotze who went on the run following these dastard incidents as alleged and his three accomplices are locked up, we must allow for a jurisprudence that ensembles a ethos of innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Tutu’s unequivocal plea for a refrain on the part of the general public exemplified in media in calling Kotze a monster warrants unpacking. His argument for such is then given a theological premise in which he contends, Kotze regardless to what remains a child of God and has the capacity to be rehabilitated to a state of sainthood. He then cites biblical examples of people who came from such messed up lives and became saints.

I concur that the fundamental teaching of Scripture overarching embraces a ethos in which Redemption and Salvation is extended as a gift of God in Christ Jesus who took the sins of the cosmos upon himself and died once for all sins of all men consummated in past, present or future.

There is therefore absolutely nothing wrong to argue the power and work of the Holy Spirit to recreate and change the worst of us to the best, as Tutu remonstrates.

This dictum is the hinge of the Christian Salvation Teaching in which men is incapable of saving himself but God takes the initiative to save that which He created and eternally loves from that which He gravely detests. This God therefore proves willing and ready in having already paid the ransom for the guilt of all.

My challenge with Tutu is not the teaching of the Biblical doctrine of Salvation and the redemptive power of God active in deliverance, nor the fact that anyone of us who have fallen like a Kotze into an inhumane, ghastly and egotistical pride based life of arrogance can be redeemed.

My challenge is why it has become imperative for the Arch to prove vocal only now on the usage of the adjective of monster when such has been liberally used in the cause of media embrace for a number of former accused and convicted felons? There is no evidence that the Arch ever proved this vocal in writing articles pleading for restraint on the usage of such.

We shall with agony remember the many serial killers and rapists who have tormented our collective communities. These were called readily monsters for the evil of what they have perpetrated, the pain they inflicted and the harm potential in eternal context they have caused to innocent people.

Yet the Arch never once berated any reference to such usage of the terminology of monster.  The Arch must tell us why he as an avid reader and active society member and outspoken veteran proved silent until hitherto.

Secondly, the Arch pleads for a theological perspective on the man- Kotze in which he affords and invokes the identity of child of God on Kotze. Yet he argues the deeds as allegedly perpetrated to be of monstrous, inhuman, ghastly nature.

Whilst there is a dialectical tension between invoking an identity of Child of God when the deeds are said to be monstrous, yet our God in His love proves loving to both victim and felon. Again this may not be narrowly perceived for it lends itself to a straddled view of conflation in which God’s love for his child is myopically interpreted without consequence when this child is stepping out of line.

If the story of Cain as recorded in Genesis 3 holds, he is still the God who requires a response from the felon who killed his brother. God visited Cain with one question, “Where is thy brother?”

Not only does God requires a response from the murderer but he excommunicates Cain from the area and that makes him vagabond, though He God, loves him enough that he protects him by sign, lest anyone should prove desirous of killing him.

The Arch draws on the TRC experience in which justice adopted a restorative context of perpetrator and victim being afforded time and opportunity to engage out of which forgiveness could be realized.

Restorative justice is a welcomed and widely acceptable concept and praxis and has proven helpful where other forms potentially could have failed. Yet restorative justice does not deny the very monstrous aspect of the deed, from which the ascribing of such appellation is correctly derived. Those who planned the mutilation and killing of Matthew Goniwe, Fort Calata, Sparrow Mkhonto and Sicelo Mahlauli engaged in monstrous deed and therefore were monsters. No different to those who killed and maimed others in dastard fashion in the cited Camps who revolted under the Liberation Struggle.

The Arch’s citing of the TRC compels me to share a view I am on record for on such process. The TRC for many of us though upheld as the paragon of our miraculous unity simply became an escape for many in which the personality of the very Arch overshadowed and colored the eventual outcome as many victims still awaits reparation when the perpetrators for saying sorry though forced had their pensions intact, their investments secured and now legitimately part of our society.

Perhaps we must ask why we call Kotze a monster? I hold no brief for any media person who may have firstly ascribed such to a Kotze, yet I shall venture to say we call Kotze a monster, because no one in his her right mind firstly fathom such intention, secondly subsequently plan and thirdly ultimately execute such inhumane plan.

We call him a monster for he knew what he was doing. We call him a monster for the deeds attest to that of a psychopath someone who has little or no regard for life, values of life, dignity, mutual respect for others yet has respect for himself.

We call him a monster for if the case holds and he has indeed killed a son his stepson in cold blood, when his role was to defend children as a father to act as protector of the vulnerable he no different to a pedophile violated that trust and robbed a family from this their pride and future in killing their son.

Yes, Arch whoever did this and forced (sexually) himself upon his former wife and equally forced his workers to rape his former wife is a monster. The illogic of allowing another man to violate someone you once claimed to have loved, makes Kotze a monster if he indeed stands accused of such.

We know rape has little to do with sex or intimacy but everything to do with power over the other. We call anyone who rapes another a monster for that was not how intimacy was to be experienced. That is a wrongful deed in societal definition it’s a wrongful deed in constitutional embrace it’s a wrongful deed on which the law of the land looks with less adoration.

The danger of Tutu’s argument is that it subliminally and blatantly fuels a contention that life must not be respected, that the good of who the criminal is must be the guiding light for how the community sees him/her. It pleads for an ethic of with the perpetrator as victim and the burden of forgiveness moved onto the victim as a demanded act.

The challenge with Tutu’s views are that they become a license to have an androgynous morality in which life is not supreme and a disrespect for such informs the panaplea of our consciousness. We struggle in SA in post apartheid with an amoral society and the views of Tutu does not steer us back to the pathway of respect for life, but embosses an ethos of self-centeredness.

Tutu’ argues for a relent and restraint on calling the monster a monster when what he did was monstrous by Tutu’s own admission.

May I remind the Arch that Jesus Christ, once called Peter his first disciple and eventual leader of the church  “get behind me Satan”? This He did for Peter was obstructing his purpose for coming into the world, though Peter intended good.


Are we to deduce we should not call a thief a thief? Are we not to call a rapist a rapist? Should we sugar coat the wrong for it hurts the perpetrator, who meticulously planned his heinous acts?

Arch, it’s the deed, the callousness and heartlessness of such that forces society to condemn such in the strongest and undeniable vehement sense in defining the doer of such as a monster.

This has nothing to do with whose child he is, who his parents are, what sweet person he may have been before, or how neighborly he was. It has nothing to do with the truth that he may become rehabilitated and serve humanity. When we say he is a monster it is to serve as a conscious rejection of what he stands for, allegedly planned, cold-bloodedly did and cowardly tried to run away from. It is to teach our society and children monsters behave like that, which should help them to heed our advice not to engage in monstrous deeds.

Archbishop, anyone who did what he allegedly did and has the mind to evade arrest proves less remorseful, ambivalent in life observation for he values his and not others.

He ran away for fear of arrest in a society where the death penalty has been abolished (and I shall never plead for its return) and where he knew upfront he would not be killed for what he did.

He effectively ran away from loosing his freedom and a potential rape in a prison cell when he never afforded his victims such running away from the wrath of being held imprisoned not just physically but potentially eternally for what he did in taking the young man’s life will forever haunt Mrs. Bonette.

Perhaps we must ask, what is Archbishop Tutu’s plea really communicating? In typical TRC mode, Tutu continues the romanticizing of pain. He perpetuates the challenge of a type of white justice when he finds it correct to speak out on Kotze but remained silent on everyone else particularly those defined as black who equally did what Kotze did and was equally called monster.

Tutu, subliminally tells us be merciful towards Kotze and don’t call him names for it hurts. The call for mercy is a correct call for we are all benefactors of such mercy yet it comes with an acknowledgment of confessed guilt and remorse.

Is it true that the Arch again picks a subject to prove controversial in which he seeks to be purportedly pragmatic as the paragon of justice and the defense of a veiled white identity of supremacy for he never proved vocal when the monster of Inanda and many others who equally received such appellation, is it only right when the perpetrator is black to be called a monster?


In the final analysis the Arch, errs in that he affords Kotze already a remorse, regret and confession of guilt that warrants a reply of forgiveness. Though he cannot claim a Kotze had spoken to him and expressed such remorse.

Yet even when and if such forgiveness is possible it always comes conjoined with a confession necessitated upon the perpetrators mind. Also such deed and subsequent confession even desire for a changed life of sainthood does not nay-say or negate consequences.

I find it difficult to make sense of the challenge Archbishop Tutu has with calling Kotze a monster, for in my eyes anyone who did what he allegedly did is simply nothing less than a monster who feeds of the most vulnerable of our society.

Is personal political motive informing Archbishop Emeriti Tutu’s condemnation of what the media call as the Modimolle Monster?

Respectfully submitted

Bishop Clyde N.S. Ramalaine


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