Tue Sep 02 16:10:15 SAST 2014

African lives cheap as ever

By Sowetan Editorial | Aug 17, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 236 ]

WERE South Africa the normal country that our Constitution envisages - where the right to life is paramount - a calamity of the proportions of Marikana would have led to drastic measures being taken by the government.

Failure to do so would lead to the resignation of the government.

But this is an abnormal country in which all the fancy laws are enacted and the Constitution is hailed as the best on earth. All the right noises are made and yet the value of human life, especially that of the African, continues to be meaningless.

That's what Marikana means. It has raised this unmitigated crudeness as if to awaken us to the reality of the time bomb that has stopped ticking - it has exploded!

Indeed, the life of an African is expendable. We are trying to expose the full extent of the tragedy - with the hope that it will arouse enough outrage to stop such mayhem - by publishing an image of this nature on the front page, but we wonder whether there isn't a numbness that comes with the death of an African.

It has happened in other parts of the world where wars reduced human beings to nothing more than physical particles. It has happened in this country before where the apartheid regime treated black people like objects.

It is continuing in a different guise now. Africans are pitted against each other over who is the rightful representative of workers. They are also fighting for a bigger slice of the mineral wealth of their own country. In the end the war claims the very poor African - again.

The economic problems do require a war. But, a different kind of war - a war of ideas. Not a war that dispenses with human life in as cheaply a manner as we have seen in Marikana.

It also calls into question the capacity of those who run the country. Something drastic must be done - lest we see a snowball effect of this massacre.

COMMENTS [ 236 ]

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Europe must be blamed as well,they must free our economy by letting African currencies to rate the same compare to their currencies,lastly give back mining into our gov's hands.

Aug 17, 2012 1:12 | 0 replies

@Tasto
You're just the same as those people, my skull has just gotten thicker, you're very first resort.

Aug 17, 2012 12:33 | 0 replies

black friday over 30 felow black citizen lost their lives : * sad indeed * : go tla loka bana ba thari entsho : bana ba mmala wa sibilo : ke muso wa pharao : o busa ka thobolo:
cry mi beloved country : Nkozisikelele iafrika : amantla : aluta continue

Aug 17, 2012 12:32 | 0 replies

@Sjekula – selective memeory heh? Unfortunatley ppl who went to the march in 1960-Langa some related the story that ppl were carrying sticks.1976 I was young but the word comrade used to send fear to us small children “ think their violent reputation preceded them”, in 1976 for the first time heard of word :”impimpi” unfortunaltey language used against them was not white hankerchiefs/negotiations, who can forget the 1980s with “our matches & tyres will ..”

P.S – Get it in yr thick skull every one has a democratic right to protest and march!!

Aug 17, 2012 12:31 | 0 replies

@Tasto
Where you have ever seen\heard a non-violent overthrow of government even in mutiny there is bloodshed of some sort!! Nothing is peaceful in any revolution & overthrow !!
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The communistic party in Poland was overthrown by Solidarity without blood being shed. It is possible, but I doubt that it will ever happen in Africa.

Aug 17, 2012 12:25 | 0 replies

@Tasto
Let us compare apples with apples, Sharpeville was a peaceful march, people were shot at the back, fleeing the scene. Marikana, those people were at the battle field, heavily armed. Stop insulting Sharpeville, Bisho, Langa, Soweto victims, don't ever assimilate them to those killers, they had already killed people, including cops. Yesterday has nothing to do with Apartheid or Racism, but people scoring points. We have people all over the country claiming to be representing the poor, whereas they know exactly that they don't have those people's aspirations at heart but seek to use them as their ticket to the new South Africa(People who just want to buy their way out of blackness, like their fellow comrades who've already done that)

Aug 17, 2012 12:24 | 0 replies

@Hosh6
Tasto
The bisho incident or Mangope being overthrown or whatever...what do they have to do with police officers being attacked by armed hooligans?

Where you have ever seen\heard a non-violent overthrow of government even in mutiny there is bloodshed of some sort!! Nothing is peaceful in any revolution & overthrow !!

Aug 17, 2012 12:18 | 0 replies

Did the police used excessive force against stone throwing Soweto youth in 1976 was it appropiate?

Aug 17, 2012 12:14 | 0 replies

Tasto
The bisho incident or Mangope being overthrown or whatever...what do they have to do with police officers being attacked by armed hooligans?

Aug 17, 2012 12:13 | 0 replies

Lets hope the police would be in the mines 24-hr day others might resort to geurilla tactics now to deal with the enemy "Hit n ' run" !!

Aug 17, 2012 12:11 | 0 replies

@Tasto
1924 Bullhoek massacre !!
1946 Pondoland rebellion !!
1960 Sharpville & Langa masscres !!

Marikana ....?
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

or Cape Town?
How much of the R4000.00 does the unions get?

Aug 17, 2012 12:7 | 0 replies