What is in the Marikana Report is not important.
The real tragedy is that we spilt the blood of our own.
It is with great sadness that we South Africans have watched the callous, insensitive and cruel manner in which the issue of the miners of Marikana was dealt. It was a great tragedy to watch on national tv when an armed police force shot at miners holding sticks. They used loaded guns on men carrying sticks… and much like the Sharpeville Massacre, most of the miners were shot in the back. They were trying to run away. They were trying to save their lives, and the police shot them in the back.
It is nice to be fortunate and not know the pain of hunger. It’s nice to be completely oblivious to the struggles of MOST of the people in this country. It’s nice to get into your expensive car and drive to your nice house…while some FAMALIES live on R3 000 a month. It’s very nice not to know that hunger makes ones angry and violent. It’s nice to have a comfortable job.
But the reality of the situation is: we have reached critical levels when the inequalities of a nation can cause a blood bath.
The government failed us with Marikana.
We elected you to be leaders. Leadership is about taking accountability. Leadership is about taking responsibility for things you do not want to take responsibility for. Leadership means that you represent your people…you don’t kill them.
True leadership mean taking a broken community and piecing it back together. True leadership does not point fingers. True leadership comes with solutions. And most importantly, true leadership is COMPASSIONATE.
One thing is clear, the miners did not just feel like marching and striking just to get some exercise. If you are angry enough to take action…..it is because you are HUNGRY!
It’s a pity, you don’t know hunger…..because if you did….you wouldn’t need this to be explained.
When the government and the whole nation saw our miners up in arms, did our government not think that maybe it’s time to see how wealth is distributed in these mines? Why do people in offices get paid more than the people who put their lives at risk daily by going underground? If your job brings wealth to the economy and you have to risk you life……surely you should be getting paid for such a sacrifice?
Most of our leaders may not know what Marikana looks like……..for a mine which produces platinum, I was surprised to find families living in shacks. How do we explain the level of poverty on the mines that are enriching the upper Class…the same upper class which kills it’s own. It made me wonder who our Upper Class is playing watch dog for.
The finger pointing is tired. It is irresponsible and it is dragging out people’s pain. I drew up a short list of suggestions to help us move forward.
- The grievances of the miners must be prioritised (at this stage they have lost the most)
- A minimum wage intervention to be put in effect IMMEDIATELY within the mining industry
- The families of all the injured and deceased be compensated and ALL school fees for ALL dependants up to and including university tuition (we did murder their bread winners)
- A Clean Up Marikana campaign where u create food gardens for the community and train the community in sustaining them
- Statues of miners to be monuments and reminders of that fateful week- turn the Koppie into a memorial site
- Marikana Day on the calendar (we need to be reminded what we let Capitalism do to us)
Naturally the government will say they can’t afford this, but they can afford expensive alcohol in their offices and weekly events. May I suggest that the various departments surrender their alcohol budgets for 3 month? A bar in the office for you translates into food and education for the Citizens of Marikana. You can consider the 3months as your mourning period….to grieve.
We grieve as Africans…..never did we think a day would come when the Oppressor looks like one of us……