World: South African Teen Killer Sentenced; MTV Holds First African Awards CeremonyNovember 24th, 2008
South African teen killer is sentenced. The White South African teen who went on a shooting spree that killed four people in a Black neighborhood was sentenced to four life terms in prison Friday, reports CNN. Two adults and two children, one three months old, the other 10 years old, were murdered during the spree, while the teen reportedly shouted racist slurs. Johan Nel was sentenced to 68 years for 11 counts of attempted murder, five years for possessing a firearm and three years for possessing ammunition, said Nell’s attorney, Frikkie Pretorius. “I respect the court’s decision, [but] we are going to appeal,” Pretorius told CNN. “We believe there is a possibility that the court made a mistake.” Nel, who is now 19 but was 18 when he committed the crimes, confessed and pleaded guilty to the killings, so he wouldn’t have to stand trial, he said. But there were “compelling circumstances” the court didn’t consider, Pertorius said. The fact that Nel was home-schooled and didn’t learn how to socialize with Black children played a role in the crime, he said. A psychologist examined Nel and found he’s competent to stand trial, though. And the Congress of South African Trade Unions agreed with the sentencing. “No lesser sentence could possibly have been given for such an appalling crime, motivated purely by racist obsessions, for which there can be absolutely no mitigating circumstances,” a spokesman for the group said in a written statement. “COSATU agrees with the judge that there is no place for racially motivated violence in a democratic South Africa,” he said. The judge and prosecutor reportedly got death threats from people who hoped to stop them from giving Nel life sentences.
MTV holds its first African awards ceremony. MTV held its first award ceremony dedicated to Africans this weekend, reports the BBC. The MTV Africa Music Awards (the MAMAs) were held in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja, and Nigerians dominated, winning six out of the 10 awards. Nigerian rapper D’banj won the artist of the year award and best male award; another Nigerian rapper, Naeto C won best new act; and 9ice took home the best hip-hop award. A Kenyan singer, Wahu, won the award for best female act. American acts, such as Rapper The Game, Flo-rida and singer Kelly Rowland hit the stage to perform during the ceremony. And U.S. artists, such as Lil Wayne and Alicia Keys, were also nominated in different categories, even though it was an African ceremony. The legend award went to Fela Kuti, the late Nigerian who spearheaded the Afrobeat movement. Kuti’s children accepted the award in his honor. “We’ll keep it in our house, and when the time comes then we’ll take it to him,” they said. The late South African singer Miriam Makeba, “Mama Africa,” was also honored during the ceremony. Winners of the awards were selected by fans who sent text messages.