Lonmin Massacre

Massacre at platinum mine in South Africa

Massacre at platinum mine in South Africa leaves 34 dead.

The news has been going wild lately, but yesterday was a bad one.  I was hoping to write an article on Julian Assange and his situation in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, but that story was completely eclipsed (for me) by the massacre that happened in my own country.

There seems to me to be a shocking lack of coverage on the situation within the local media, with me having to get the news from the New York Daily News website.  Today I switched on the radio for the first time in ages, but they did not mention it there.  Then I ran the treadmill at Virgin Active, thinking they would have surely switched from Sky to a local news station, but they hadn’t, and I don’t think Sky was too interested.  This was to me both weird and alarming; we are not like the US, our cops haven’t shot at innocent civilians like this since Sharpville (March 1960), which helped usher in a new national government and mindset.  The difference is that then it was white police shooting at black protesters, now we have black police killing black protesters.  I think that this might help show people that perhaps race had very little to do with it; that nervous trained policemen, policing a unruly crowd with live ammunition, may be prone to f*ck-ups.  In my mind, the cops who started both these shootings were not thinking to themselves “Yeah, white supremacy” or “Kill the miners”, but were rather thinking “Sh*t this situation is scary”.  But I’m an optimist.
What South Africans need to understand is that their rage is correct, but they have the bogeyman all wrong.  These miners have called for this police attention by way of inter-union violence.  They dance and shout, and spit and fight between each other, turning their aggression on the police when they get in the way, but ignore the real villain.  They are angry at the unions, they are angry at the government, angry with the police, but what about the owners?  Now we have a bunch of SA police, killing a bunch of SA miners, who are fighting with each other (and killing) over compensation and union issues, while the platinum mine’s directors sit at home in the UK.

For any South Africans looking for a solution, here it is for you: Nationalize the damn precious stones and metals.  South African platinum, mined by South African labourers, should be filling government coffers to be used for public projects, and not profiting some British corporation.  Lonmin (the name of the corporation that operates the mine), can get together with the Openheimers, the De Beers, the Rhodes, the Kissingers, and any other family who plays Monopoly for a living, and they can all get f*cked.  Ask yourself why, if SA provides over 80% of the worlds platinum, we still have to fight over increasing salaries for workers.  The people who go into the earth to harvest her bounties, should benefit in some way from the profits generated – not just given enough to live on like a slave.  Let it never  again be whispered in some dark British pub, that South Africa is a place to go to exploit the working class and rape the environment; take back what is rightfully ours.  Corporations can be reimbursed however much the morals and ethics seen in their actions are deemed worth. If you do this you will soon see all other exploiters run and hide, and the corrupt politicians would be wise to join them.


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