Marikana: Hunger is a force more powerful than fear

2015-06-29 14:35
Picture: Leon Sadiki

Picture: Leon Sadiki

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@MthunziMbatha 

Indlala ibanga ulaka (hunger breeds anger). The showdown at Marikana on August 16 2012, when Lonmin miners armed with sticks and assegais faced off with police officers armed to the teeth illustrated that hunger spurs even the weakest forward to battle. 

It should be said from the onset that violence is wrong and should be condemned regardless of the motivation behind it. But hunger has a way of speaking a language only the one who feels it understands. 

It takes guts and more for anyone to stare down the barrel of the gun and one can only imagine what it takes to pull the trigger and ebb life out of a hungry man. 

The Farlam commission of inquiry into the Marikana events did its work and made recommendations. The journey is only just beginning for everyone “incriminated” or “exonerated”. One certainty is that the country lost more than the body count in the massacre. 

What’s left for everyone involved is making sure that it never happens that anyone’s livelihood is so threatened that staring death in the face is the only way out. Nor should it be that the only way to protect economic interests is to use lethal force. 

Capitalism is a brutal system that only favours the strong, but brutality in any form is not a prerequisite for the system’s success. 
When all is said and done, we should never forget that dozens of men laid their lives on the line for a living wage. 



Read more on:    lonmin  |  marikana

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