Thursday, 16 August 2012

Cry, my beloved country

Many of you might have seen in the news the terrible events unfolding at a mine in my country today.

Many versions/interpretations of what happened was sent out into the world.

It is not just about police brutality. It is not about apartheid. It is not just a wage dispute.

It is about trade unions in a stand-off against each other, against the companies. It's about fat cats in offices in Joburg playing games with their human pawns, because the pawns are mostly just workers desperate to make a living.  Thousands Just Want To Work .

It is about ancient superstitions that lead these men to believe that drinking/sprinkling themselves with some unthinkable concoction would make them invincable, unable to die, untouchable.

Now as many as 25 people might have died since the start of the violence last week. Men leaving behind families; women and children. In an already dire economic position, these families will now even have less. Their men will be buried, a huge funeral will be held with union banners, cows will be slaughtered and T-shirts distributed - and the union bosses will go home in their big shiny black German cars.

Their employers have already ceased operations in SA for now. That means tens of thousands will be without an income. That means tens of tens of thousands will be without the means to buy food, clothing, shelter, medication.

But the union guys will be ok; they may think they have won a battle, they will scream even harder for nationalization.

"Ah, but your land is beautiful", people say.

It is.

But it is also drenched with tears.

Ed. Policemen are currently being killed at a rate of 1 every 10 days. But at least it has improved.  It was almost 600 a year in the middle 90's.


Anonymous said...

This event has not been on our news in Australia, but it is very sad to read your post. We went back to South Africa 2 years ago and are going back this holiday season as well. Last time we did an amazing but heart wrenching tour of Soweto, our guide took us to all of the significant places and I will admit brought tears to our eyes on several occasions. I was born in Cape Town but adopted out and spent most of my life here in Australia. South Africa is the most beautiful country on earth but with a terrible sadness. I feel so sad for these families in this situation with the mine, I have read over here that mining is going to be huge in SA. Glad you added this post Stel, it is way of letting the world know what is happening and that it is denying people their basic rights to work and provide for their families. Take care, Ann

Anonymous said...

On our 10:00am news ABC Radio there was a segment on this tragedy, so awful to hear.

Reinier + Jo-Ellen said...

I often just switch off the TV when the news comes on. It just makes my blood boil. All the corruption in this beautiful country makes me sick to my stomach. Thanks for your blog post. I will continue to pray for this country and its leaders to be honest working people, and to turn to God.

Julia said...

Wow - what a blog post!! You hit the nail on the head - I agree with every single word you say. This is sooo extremely sad. What is even sadder is what people put on social media - MY Facebook friends. Turning this into a race thing - and by doing it, making the death of PEOPLE seem insignificant ... :(