Where are the leaders?

2012-09-08 09:29

It is clear the presence of Julius Malema and the Friends of the Youth League (FYL) at Marikana was a pain in the neck for the ANC alliance.

Malema played the critical role left vacant by unions, community activists, politicians and all leaders of the three spheres of government.

He and the FYL assisted mine workers in opening the murder and attempted murder cases against the police.

He secured legal representation for the 270 incarcerated mine workers. He kept the families and fellow comrades of the jailed men informed of what was happening inside court.

He was the first to call the charges of murder against the 270 miners, under the doctrine of common purpose, madness.

His role was appreciated by the miners in custody, those still striking and, most definitely, the families of those in custody. He was not just paying lip service, he was a man of action.

The serious question, though, is where the credible leaders have been, especially the union leaders.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini already diagnosed the problem in Marikana. According to him, the ­police shot the mine workers in self-defence, though Cosatu publicly supported the commission of inquiry. Was that just window dressing?

Whose side is Cosatu on? The mine workers, the employers or the police? My assessment of the Marikana situation is mine workers have no one to turn to.

Malema, without doubt, has used the situation for his own motives but he provided much-needed leadership and was their last hope.

This begs a question: when is the working-class vanguard, the South African Communist Party, going to come out of the intensive care unit over Marikana?

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