Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

11 May 2014

South Africa: Live Courtroom TV, Season Two - Shrien Dewani

Photo: enews channel
Honeymoon Murder Accused Shrien Dewani (file photo).

analysis

After a month of psychiatric observation, British murder accused Shrien Dewani is expected to make his second pre-trial appearance in the Cape High court on Monday. In February this year, Judge Dunstan Mlambo made legal history when he ruled that parts of the Oscar Pistorius trial could be broadcast live on television. Media houses are bound to apply for the same privilege in the Dewani matter. In the meantime, Dewani's iPad and iPhone were confiscated and handed to the investigating officer, Captain Paul Hendrikse.

There is nothing new about the public's appetite for murder or homicide as entertainment. True crime, literary crime fiction, detective and legal series as well as real and fictional courtroom dramas remain the most popular genres of entertainment and one of the UK and America's greatest global cultural exports.

For centuries, crime and those who transgress the apparent moral codes that bind a society have held those of us who would never dream of overstepping these taboos, captivated and enthralled.

For the past two months millions of South Africans have been absorbed by the minutiae of the tragedy that took place in the early hours of the morning of 14 February, 2013 in...

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