NEWS > EVERYONE ELSE > SOUTH AFRICANS STARTING TO GET A LITTLE UPSET OVER MASSACRE OF STRIKERS BY POLICE
SOUTH AFRICANS STARTING TO GET A LITTLE UPSET OVER MASSACRE OF STRIKERS BY POLICE
August 18 2012
Johannesburg, South Africa – South Africa, for good or ill, is a country that knows violence. It is used to violence, it sees it every day to levels and degrees that can boggle the mind of an outsider. Some places are relatively safe, true, but a large swath of the country is beset by serious violence that despite significant social advances has continued to plague the nation.
That violence, now, is on clear display for the world to see. Unlike most such incidents however this time the actions are not being committed by locals by police who recently opened fire on a group of striking miners, killing 34 and injuring 78 in what is the worst strike-related massacre in the country this year.
The outrage over that event in the country, as well as an international outcry over the incident, has prompted a full investigation from the nation’s officials and a visit from President Jacob Zuma who has openly argued against mass murder as a means of crowd dispersal in the past. It’s not clear if those questions, and a new inquiry board set up to find out exactly what happened, will change anything but at least they will pretend for a little while.
“I am convinced that the Commission of Inquiry will uncover the truth and facts will emerge,” said Zuma, who has a reputation for being a bit of negative nelly at times. “These deaths are tragic.”
200 strikers have also been arrested and pretty much vanished after being taken into custody so they could well be dead too.
Police officials are reportedly working with the mine operators to identify as many of the dead and missing as possible but admit that it may not be possible to determine the identities of everyone.
“This is really a tragic incident and pretty clear evidence that despite many advances in South Africa there are still a lot things that need to be done before they can be considered an advanced and developed nation. Opening fire on miners like that, really, not the best way to prove to the world that you are developing,” said Scrape TV International analyst Gustav Hander. “Even if you are going to carry rifles to the strikes you should really have dummy rounds and gas canisters. People do get out of hand when they are passionate and in large groups and you have to be prepared for that but using live rounds, that’s a little much.”
The strikers apparently want their pay more than doubled which is clearly the kind of thing that should earn them death.
“On the plus side, I guarantee that these people are not going to get what they
wanted. I mean it’s still going to be a while before they get back to work but clearly they have been shown that the government and the mine owners are not messing around. It also serves to put other people who might consider striking on notice,” continued Hander. “I mean it’s not like they are slaves or anything and the reality is you can’t pay people working crappy jobs a lot of money. If you do that they will want to take vacations and they will save and eventually quit and that is the last thing companies want. I’m sure many of the people have now learned their lesson though, to be fair, they should at least get a small raise to compensate for all the shooting and death.”
The dead will of course not be included in any future pay increases.
Emil Uliya, International Correspondent