17 August 2014

South Africa: Never Forget Marikana

Photo: The Daily Vox
Thousands gather at the koppie for the second anniversary commemoration of the Marikana massacre.

If you are reading this, you are among the ever-smaller band of people who still read stories about Marikana in Daily Maverick. Most people prefer not to. Most people choose to think of the Marikana massacre as a terrible thing that happened to other people, a world away from their own lives.

By turning away from their suffering, we perpetuate the prejudice against the people of Marikana. Just because those in power treat the people of Marikana like children of a lesser God, does not mean we should too. In the US city of Ferguson in Missouri, a state of emergency was declared this weekend as protests intensified over the killing of an unarmed teenager by a police officer. We know who Mike Brown is because his community is demanding justice. Why are WE not?

There are two points in the documentary Miners Shot Down when you can adopt false hope that everything will turn out all right, and that the horrendous events that shred the fabric of our fragile democracy might not in fact happen.

The first is when a group of the striking mineworkers are trying to return home on their way back from the...

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