14 January 2008 is a day which will not be easily forgotten in the minds and hearts of the people who were living on a small piece of land situated between railway line and road that connects Johannesburg and the border between the North West and Botswana.
A young racist Afrikaner boy who was raised to hate black people woke up and went on a shooting spree, killing a number of black who in his eyes looked like baboons.
Families lost their loved ones and some lost bread winners and today some politicians are using their blood for their opportunistic agenda. It is now almost five years since the Skierlik massacre and the municipality is commemorating the event by continuing to undermine the victims.
The small community was left helpless and traumatised but today very little has been done to assist this community to come to terms with the events of that day.
Year after year funds are being raised by the provincial government and the municipality of Kgetleng under the name of commemorating this day. Afterwards nobody cares about what happens in this community and they will only be remembered the following year in January when one of them is broke after the festive season and want to raise funds to break the lull brought by the festivities of December.
In our view as COSATU this is a continuation of the violation of human rights and it is playing with people’s emotions, making them to think that you care where as the intention is different.
As COSATU we have several times called for a proper social plan which will help to heal the people of Skierlik from what they experienced five years ago. But all our calls fall on deaf ears.
The families of the deceased and injured are been divided along who agrees with the elites; and those who do not agree are marginalised. This year the families were not taking part due to that attitude of the municipality.
Government has build houses which do not have water and electricity and the people are expected to live there on a daily basis.
While COSATU welcomes the building of the houses, we believe that more has to be done to make sure that there is water and electricity at all times.
COSATU calls on the Human Rights Commission to visit the area and experience first-hand the level of human rights violations in that area.
COSATU calls on government to stop using the misery of the people of Skierlik to fundraise for their cronies. We are also calling for a full investigation into all the activities that have taken place since 2008, into who benefited from this racial killing in our poor community.
For more information feel free to call COSATU NW Provincial Secretary, Solly Phetoe,