Gerechtigkeit bedeutet Versöhnung

In Südafrika, wie tatsächlich weltweit, werden wir in dem strikten Bewusstsein erzogen, dass Gerechtigkeit Sühne bedeutet. Angesichts des schockierenden Anstiegs der Gewaltkriminalität und der Zunahme abscheulicher Verbrechen wie der Vergewaltigung und des Missbrauchs von Kindern häufen sich nun die Rufe – unterstützt von weiten Teilen der Bevölkerung – nach Wiedereinführung der Todesstrafe. Glücklicherweise hat das südafrikanische Verfassungsgericht entschieden, dass die Todesstrafe – die die Südafrikaner mit Befreiung von der Apartheid abschaften – verfassungswidrig sei.

Vielerorts auf der Welt scheint es leider so, als ob sich Männer und Frauen in ihrem Sehnen nach Vergeltung nicht über die biblische Warnung „Auge um Auge“ hinaus entwickelt haben. So wird in einigen muslimischen Ländern verurteilten Dieben öffentlich die Hand amputiert. Dabei berief man sich ursprünglich auf das Bibelwort, um zu verhindern, dass unschuldige Verwandte der Person, die getötet hatte, der Blutrache zum Opfer fielen. „Auge um Auge” verlangt, dass nur der Schuldige selbst das Ziel sein solle – und niemand anderes, dessen einziges Verbrechen in seiner Verwandtschaft zum Täter bestand.

„Auge um Auge“ sollte also nicht das bedeuten, was wir heute darunter verstehen: nämlich, dass ein Mord durch einen anderen Mord gesühnt werden soll. Dies hätte, angesichts der Brutalität der Apartheid-Ära, in meinem Heimatland nie funktioniert.

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