PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
TebelloMokoena
 
Comments: 13
Article views: 3
 
 
Latest Badges:

 
View all TebelloMokoena's badges.
 

Marikana: 2 opposing, yet equally troubling narratives

20 November 2012, 11:45

Inevitably, every dinner table discussion amongst friends will veer towards discussing contemporary political issues. The in-topic at the moment is the Marikana Commission of inquiry and what appears to be the “emerging facts” which, at this very early stage, must be treated with a great deal of circumspection.

If one listens carefully, there are two opposing, yet equally troubling narratives emerging. The first one emerges from a deeply held mistrust of the ANC government since the Polokwane elective conference. In a nutshell, it suggests that;” this is what was to be expected from Zuma and his lot.” If the logic of this narrative is followed, it leads to the conclusion that somehow, the shooting of 34 miners in Marikana was a pre-meditated murder, committed by police on instructions from somewhere up there at worst, or at best, it was a function of a series of negligent actions by a police force which had, for some time, been told that it’s ok to shoot at innocent, unarmed civilians.

This narrative goes to the extent of making generous, ill-conceived and out rightly false comparisons between apartheid’s riot police actions and democratic South Africa’s public order policing tactics. The two can’t be compared as they are two different animals, grounded in two different historical and material contexts. The politics of this context are obvious; ‘use every opportunity you get to delegitimise government and state institutions,’ that way, you are taking a few steps forward in eroding the ANC’s legitimacy in the eyes of the public.

The second narrative, although couched in legalese, suggests that the law must be allowed to take its course and that; in any event, the police acted in self-defence and it was about time that the police stood firm against lawlessness. This narrative also infers that it was precisely because the police had hitherto treated the strikers with kid-gloves that the situation had deteriorated to a point where the miners felt emboldened to maim and kill with impunity.

Allowing the law to take its course is a code for;’ I don’t care, but I am hoping that the police can show that the miners deserved what they got.’

The truth, I suspect, lie somewhere between the two narratives.

 I have already outlined why the logic of the first narrative is flawed.

Its trouble is that, because it is born out of a mistrust of government, it assumes that processes of government have been subverted to a point where state institutions can act on instructions and follow them without due consideration of legality or consequence. I agree that the Zuma-led ANC government has many faults, but I can’t imagine that such a decision could be taken at the most senior level and yet no one sees fault with it, assuming that the narrative is true.

 In addition, I find it inconceivable that the ANC government can be so callous as to instruct the police to fire at striking miners and damn the consequences.  With all their weaknesses, there are sensible men and women in the current government, who would not have allowed such a discussion to even happen

The trouble with the second narrative is that it assumes that the police are incapable of making mistakes and therefore, there should be no concern about the methods employed, as long as the police can maintain law and order, it should be fine.

I admit that the country’s crime rate is disturbingly high and as result, many ordinary citizens will welcome the police’s new-found resolve to end lawlessness and anarchy, but the facts as they obtained during that fateful day in Marikana require a closer examination before we rush into conclusions that may prove ill-conceived later.

This second narrative is more troubling as, if followed, it would lend credibility to the police’s use of excessive force, even under circumstances where it is not warranted, just because the public is fed up with crime and the police must be seen to be acting to deal with it.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
13 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Nunu
The Equality Falacy

Are all lives equally valuable? I think, quite clearly, the answer is no. Read more...

1 comments 87 views
Submitted by
David van Tonder
A open letter to the president of...

You are our Commander in Chief and its about time you start acting like it. Read more...

6 comments 427 views
EFF MP`s suspension is a blessing...

I thought Zuma should have known better that a suspension is a blessing in overalls. This time they are red. You give these people time to consult political expects. When EFF come back in parliament they will come back much stronger than they were before suspension. Read more...

5 comments 326 views
Submitted by
Pierre Willemse
Phil Hughes – how this could chan...

The tragic death of Phil Hughes is undoubtably going to change the way the game is played and how the game is viewed. Read more...

12 comments 368 views
Submitted by
Phumelela Dlamini
President Zuma Must Go: He Must G...

The fact is our president is going nowhere, he is here to stay for the next five years, writes Phumelela Dlamini. Read more...

20 comments 839 views
I'm tired...

We need to find the will and courage to take back our destiny. Read more...

9 comments 626 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Hot festive offers at kalahari.com!

Hurry! Stocks are limited. Don’t miss out. Shop Now!

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.