Before I get into it I want to get you to think of something:
What if those violent protesters got through? What if the police did not open fire? Do you think those charging men merely wanted to talk, with panga’s, knbkirries and guns in their hands? And what effect would it have had on this country?
With violent protests breaking out in all parts of our country, I can’t help but be grateful that the unrest is somewhat a cloud of dust starting to dissipate because if those men had to get through, over power the police and start killing them, I can tell you it would have sent one message across the country “Take out the police!”, every town in our beautiful land would be under threat merely because it would look like the police are incapable of curbing the masses. To spite who is wrong and who is right. Basically, if those workers had the upper hand on the day of the massacre, it would not be the day of the massacre but the start of civil war in South Africa.
History repeating itself?
Some articles want to liken this event to Sharpeville, but in my minds eye there is a difference between a bunch of scholars protesting, chanting, dancing – fueled by the idea of Bantu education – compared to a bunch of men charging down a hillside with weapons towards armed police.
Then the notion of muti came to light. I get culture and that people have their traditions but at what point does a person turn around and say “Tradition is like magic, and the only place it belongs is in stories”. We are all brought up in a world where education s key to success. If you study hard and work hard you will achieve. Whereas traditional type of thinking, where drinking a special drink from a witch doctor will deflect speeding bullets, puts the idea that this group of people are easily swayed in terms of truth. This proves that the group of people we are talking about are not educated. So why is their education important? Because this massacre has quickly turned political, and a weak mind is a politicians playground. From the unions, to the ANC, and the Youth League, everyone is getting in there telling the remaining workers what IS happening and who IS to blame. Maybe if we want to look at a similar massacre then look no further than 1994 and the bloodshed between the ANC and the IFP, how is it similar to LoNmin? It’s politically driven.
Now there are far cries for a pay increase to R12500 and to some degree I feel this is a ploy towards international media because that kinda cash is a pipe dream for some educated people of south Africa, myself included. And the idea that a miner can earn that, makes me think twice about finishing school and going to university. If that is the salary then I should have been in the mines at sixteen. Why? I work my tits off to earn two thirds of that every month.
“But they have families.” And then I here far cries that the workers support more than just themselves, well, unfortunately life style choice should not dictate ones pay. One should not live beyond ones means, and this includes having a family. To have children and then burden society with your lack of skills as a provider is insane. If you can’t afford a child, don’t have one. But I seem to veering off the point. The point – that cash increase is unreasonable. And if other workers across the country see that Lonmin might get this increase, what do you think will happen to all the workers across the country?
What about me?
I am disappointed. Disappointed that South Africa is still the same place it was twenty years ago. Sure the presidents skin colour has changed but the fact that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely still rings true regardless of the colour of your face. People with money think of one thing, more money. Greed my dear readers, greed pertains to only one race – the human race. So to some degree I hope that Cosatu will loose some of their power as with the ANC. Not that I want either one completely dissolved but a healthy competition, even in sectors such as unions, there will be a spread of this so called power and each individual will get closer to having a party or union that really reflects that said persons personal ambitions in life, for himself/herself and the country.
Let’s stay out of this one, stand back like spectators because there are two groups to blame, and if you are reading this I can pretty much assume you are part of neither one of those groups.