16 August 2012.
Saturday marked the second, is it anniversary or commemoration of what happened at Marikana when people, protesting for a better wage, lost their lives in an unprotected strike, against the mine houses, Anglo American, Lonmin and Amplats.
What started out as a peaceful protest action turned out to be one where innocent people, miners, individuals and even SAPS members lost their lives for no apparent reason.
Saturday marked two years since this atrocity happened and different versions of what actually happened and triggered the events on the day, have been laid bare in testimony before a commission of enquiry that is investigating the event, and if an amount of blame for what happened can be afforded to any individual and or collective group.
Many a witness has appeared in front of the Commission of enquiry, and testified, under oath for that matter, of how they experienced the event and its consequences.
Blame has been labeled to certain individuals for acting to protect their financial interest, and having more concern for how their investment was evaporating, with others just not having the right answers at the time to questions put to them.
It is with 16th June 1976 in mind that we think back on what happened on that day. A peaceful demonstration that was held turned into a violent protest with innocent people also losing their lives, at the hands of the SAPS on the day. Need we be reminded of it, and the picture of the dead Hector Peterson being carried, has become a symbol of the atrocities that happened on the day at the hands of those that didn’t know how to control and handle the situation.
Ironically those atrocities were as a consequence of police action, and the Marikana of two years ago, having similar blame.
Miners, protestors, according to testimony were shot in the back, which signifies that they were running away, and posed no immediate threat to anyone, but all of this still need to be dealt with before the final report on the day is drafted.
Families have lost their breadwinners, fathers and grandfathers, and their situation two years down the line, has not changed for the better. They can’t even afford to buy a doll for their child, whereas one of the main role-players and stakeholders that had to act to protect his assets, could splash R 16 million on a Buffalo Bull to add to his collection.
How ironical, that some just have it all, whereas others are deprived of basic necessities to just me able to sustain themselves, without having access to any luxuries.
Two events in our history that should have never been, yet due to the incapacity of those that was killed and the SAPS not being au fait with crowd control, resulted in deaths of human lives that could have been prevented, and handled more amicably to resolve the ensuing problem.
When, oh when will we ever learn, that problems, complaints and requests can be amicably solved with role-players and stakeholders talking and compromising and being reasonable?
Millions has been spent on legal representation and in the appointment of the commission, but will we ever know the real truth that transpired and will those that should be held accountable be charged for their inappropriate actions and decisions on the day, or will everything just be swept under the carpet and covered up with the real truth never surfacing of what happened.
The ruling party is synonymous with the facts that it will try everything in its power to cover up on it incapacities, and putting blame, or accepting any kind of blame for what happened.