NEWS > EVERYONE ELSE > SOUTH AFRICA VOWS TO CLAMP DOWN ON MARIKANA MINERS JUST LIKE THEY DID BEFORE
SOUTH AFRICA VOWS TO CLAMP DOWN ON MARIKANA MINERS JUST LIKE THEY DID BEFORE
September 14 2012
Johannesburg, South Africa – The shutdown of the Marikana platinum mine in South Africa has already seen more than its fair share of trouble. Aside from the sheer difficulties inherent in having an important and profitable mine closed for weeks, there has of course been a great deal of unrest at amongst the strikers.
That unrest has turned deadly a number of times already with strikers getting aggressive and police showing up and just gunning them down. In that shooting dozens were killed but, contrary to what everyone thought would work, it did not inspire the survivors to drop their complaints and just get back to work.
In fact many of the miners have become even more defiant, even rejecting the latest offer from Lonmin, the company which operates the mine. That rejection has actually inspired even more solidarity amongst the miners and even sparked similar events elsewhere in the country, a movement which is threatening to shut down the entire precious metal mining industry in the country. Now police, faced with an even more resilient opponent, have vowed to clamp down on the continuing unrest, presumably in the only way South Africans know how to do such a thing, by shooting people.
“Anyone taking part in illegal protests will be dealt with very swiftly, without any further delay. Our government will not tolerate these acts any further,” said Justice Minister Jeff Radebe.
The growing unrest has spread to other mines across the country which has put a great deal of pressure on the South African government which is presumably the root of the newest threats.
Government officials did drop murder charges against the strikers following that shooting because they just looked foolish to the rest of the world.
“This is certainly an interesting happening and one that is not totally foreign to other countries. Unions, civil protest, these are the type of things that happen in evolving and emerging economies and always have. In most places, advanced places, this type of thing has mostly been dealt with in responsible ways. There has been violence on occasion of course but nothing like what we have seen in South Africa,” said Scrape TV Economic analyst Michael Santino. “Of course violence is an art in that country and it’s so common that it’s almost like breathing. Of course they are going to gun down strikers, heck I’m sure they didn’t even consider using anything but live rounds. I bet they don’t even have rubber bullets in South Africa.”
They do, actually but live rounds are much cheaper and far more popular.
“These are the types of things that are going to continue in the country and the government and businesses are just going to have to get used to it. They are also going to have to find ways to deal with it rather than resorting to wholesale murder. That is really not the way to do this kind of thing, as a rule,” continued Santino. “I mean clearly it has not worked here, clearly, because the people are still protesting. I’m sure the government is just thinking that maybe they didn’t kill enough people or leave the bodies out to rot for a longer but the reality is violence is not the answer to these questions, something the people of South Africa are just going to have to accept whether they like it or not.”
They don’t, presumably, like it even a little bit.
Emil Uliya, International Correspondent