The mess of the Marikana mine massacre has dragged its bloody heals through the headlines and left a lot of us questioning the motives of “ordinary” South Africans. At a minimum, the incident has reminded us of the widespread inequality in this country but to some of us; it has raised a far more sinister set of questions.
How much does it take for a miner become a murder? Can we simply dismiss it as the consequence of rampant poverty? Have we peddled the poor beyond their breaking point?
The release of the Marikana miners without a single murder conviction is a gross injustice for all South Africans. There are no longer repercussions for a mobilised mass of murderers. For some of these individuals, the target is not a wage increase, it is weakness. Get in, deliver the killing blow and blend back into the mob.
The violence seems uncoordinated and it follows the mob beyond the boundaries of their grievances. Security guards, policemen, non-affiliated union members and innocent bystanders are all targets. We are THE targets. All it takes is the misfortune of finding yourself in the wrong place, at the wrong time. An elderly mother experienced this first hand as a well guided rock flew through her windscreen and placed her into a coma.
There are over 50 acts of murder every single day. Unless these killings are consolidated to a single location and filmed, they will not be mourned. This is the ugly truth. It is our lives that are undervalued in this country. It is violence begetting more violence.
Let us forget the inadequate training of SAPS, the incompetence of government, the violent rhetoric of union leaders, the inexcusable livelihoods of the poor and the barbarism of violent protests. Forget the wage disputes. Forget the socioeconomic injustices of this nation.
How much is life really worth to you? Are you willing to kill for a cause?
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