PLEASE NOTE:

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

 
MSithole
 
Comments: 21
Article views: 1100
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all MSithole's badges.
 

Marikana: Lest we Confuse the Police

29 August 2012, 13:00

The Marikana shooting was a sorry and sad episode in South Africa’s history. Many will argue that it could have been avoided and they are right. But many of the commentators seem to deliberately ignore the facts here. South Africans should not confuse the police. We should all let the police do their job without undue interference from any quarters otherwise we will become a nation of savages.

 My heart aches for South Africa. What just happened at Marikana mine could make even the worst cold stone-hearted person to weep. It was a disaster of serious proportions. My most sincere condolences to the bereaved families and friends. These are most likely the last resorts of a people who believe that their rights and demands are being suppressed.  But the end… The most immediate reaction for most of us will easily be to condemn what many have termed “police brutality”.  Although the President has announced a judicial Commission of Inquiry into the matter, I am tempted to give my view now when the matter is still fresh. I surely cannot wait for the 5 months for the commission to complete its findings.

 SAPS has in countless instances demonstrated that they are not a force who institutionalize police brutality. We have seen them act professionally even under immense provocation during service delivery protests. Compared to the police force of many other nations they are a cut above the rest in terms of their respect for human dignity. Ours is not a trigger happy force. Given this background, we cannot therefore spring up to condemn them for an isolated incidence without giving due cognizance of the peculiarities of the situation they unenviably found themselves contending with. If we continue to confuse the police, we will only become complicit in creating a South Africa where people have the latitude to break the law at will and make the country ungovernable because they will know that the people, under the guise of “democracy” and “the rights of the oppressed”, will continue to defend them. This is wrong.

I am an African and I am very conversant with African cultures and traditions. I know that in our culture it is taboo to say bad things about someone who has died, even if it means we have to lie. The Marikana saga:   We have over 3000 people, as reported in the media, most of whom are armed, howbeit some with primitive weapons, knobkerries and spears and pangas. These people have already been intimidating those other workers who had decided to exercise their “democratic right” to go to work. These striking miners have already been “made invincible “by a sangoma that they can do anything they desire at will. At this point they have already proved that they are indeed invincible by being involved in the deaths of 10 people, 2 of whom are policemen they had disarmed and nothing has been done to them.  Ummmh! These guys are not rehearsing for a drama or movie. They are into a serious and dangerous mission.

 The police have been negotiating with them to drop their weapons or withdraw from the fateful hill. They have flatly rejected the plea with a “we will fight even to death” shout. Even their leaders have lost control, their pleas also fall on deaf ears. Hey, what can the police do? The police handbook seems to be giving them limited options even. Our police carry tear gas canisters. Don’t they? This time they are well loaded in their numerous Nyalas nearby. What do they do now? Okay they arrange themselves into layers that begin to advance towards the protesting miners, who are clearly unfazed as they challenge the daring policemen.  In front are policemen with water cannons and tear gas tear gas canisters and some with rubber bullet guns and behind are those armed with live bullet state of the art shotguns. Clearly the police do not want to hurt anyone but they just want to disperse the rowdy, panga and knobkerrie and spear wielding crowd.

 A command is given. Boom! Boom! Boom! The first line shoots water and teargas canisters to disperse the unyielding miners. Then the unexpected happens. The miners begin charging towards the gun-totting policemen with the rage of infuriated bulls. They are up for a fight. Remember they have been “fortified” by the sangoma’s charms. The police seem to have failed to read the mood of the mine rock-drillers. The rubber bullets policemen men retort and the live ammunition guys fire towards charging “bulls”. Alas! The miners fall! A great calamity! “Damn it! Damn it! Damn it”, a policeman could be heard muttering to himself after realising that things had gotten very wrong.

 But. Who is to blame? The answer is simple. Wait, the commission will give details.  We cannot blame police at this stage. All we have to do is summed up in the president speech. “This is not the time to play the blame game.”  What worries me most is the tendency among many in the media and in politics who have started vilifying the police as if they could have done any better under similar challenging circumstances.

 Let’s not confuse the police. Let Phiyega do her job please. They are there to protect all of us especially the law-abiding citizens of the democratic South Africa. In their job, sometimes, they have a split second to decide who they should protect, the good citizen or the lawbreakers. The split second could mean their own graves many a time.. Difficult job sometimes. Without, in any way, exonerating the police, let us all let them do their job without fear of an unjust media and politicians. Those who have done wrong will, in due time, be punished when it is proved that they broke the law as has happened in other abuses that have been reported.

Instead, as we mourn, let us teach our people to understand their rights correctly.  Because, it is clearly not our right to fight and shoot the police. The emphasis should rather be to use the unfortunate incident to show that crime does not pay. Crime and demonstrations are two distinct actions.  The downtrodden have the right to protest most definitely. If we do that South Africa will not go the way of the other African countries. We cannot afford to be a nation of savages. My fear is that my clarion call will go unheeded.

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
21 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Terrylin Backpackers
Rain, Old Furniture, Fat People a...

The Broadway Hotel in Blackpool fined a couple for posting a terrible TripAdvisor review, their reasons being a 'damage control price' on its online reputation. As I had no idea what they were on about, I looked them up and clearly Gordon Ramsay needs to check-in asap. Read more...

2 comments 107 views
Submitted by
Johan Coetzer581
Human Rights another perspective

Whilst sitting in the darkness of yet another Escom induced blackout my mind wandered. Read more...

3 comments 227 views
Submitted by
CharlieC
The Climate of Anarchy

I have asked the libertarians and anarchist to write an article explaining their systems and why the think it would be a better system for us to live under. Read more...

20 comments 396 views
Submitted by
Siebert Mazus
References for claims?

This question refers to a comment made by Toby Strong, an evangelical Christian, in the article 'The Good News for the world' appearing on news24.com/MyNews2. Read more...

79 comments 500 views
Submitted by
Chris Khanye
The South Africa Parliament has l...

Today, South Africa Parliament cannot conscientiously claim to be a representative of the ‘People’. Read more...

6 comments 444 views
Submitted by
John Myburg
Numsa exposed

We, concerned members within NUMSA, chose to expose role-players involved in an underground plot to destabilise South Africa.  Read more...

11 comments 717 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Civil Engineer

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
Communicate Cape Town Engineering
R450 000 - R600 000 Per Year

Management Accountant – Cape Town

Cape Town
Quantum Recruitment

Customer Service Advisor

Cape Town
Teleresources Cape Town
R5 000 Per Month

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

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . 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!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. 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.