There is a concept in HIV/AIDS education that is termed “HIV fatigue”. The concept encapsulates how people are ‘sick’ and tired of hearing about HIV. I mean we know. Now0 can’t we move on to something else, tends to be the attitude. On two occasions now I have found out that we don’t actually know. This became evident when I participated in a Youth sexuality service learning module in 2011. Similarly I learnt knew information when I participated in a HIV/AIDS and Sexuality workshop in 2012. Quick questions to prove my point:
1. Do you know the science behind the so called ‘window period’ when a person may be infected but test negative?
2. Why is it that American youth have more sexual lifetime partners and have earlier sexual debut but are at less risk of infection than South African youth?
Unless you know the answer to both questions your AIDS fatigue is wasted on you. I perceive the same fatigue element to be our attitude of the Marikana massacre or tragedy: depending on whether you think it was a tragic accident or an avoidable massacre.
16 August 2012. 34 die/or 34 people are killed. 10 had been killed before that fateful day. Another person has died since then. Fast forward to a month later, 15 September 2012. Newspapers have sold like discounted ice cream on a hot day in hell. A commission of inquiry has been set and its conditions gazetted. Ministers and former Youth league members have graced our TV screens on a daily basis. Worker groups, unions (It would seem they are no longer worker organising groups), management have had their say. Even I have added my 2 pences, twice. A peace accord has been signed (who is at war? with who?).
The real question is has anything changed? The simple answer is a resounding Cha mfeth’, Nie my skat, NO nothing has changed. Sidimba of City Press (15 September 2012) quotes a worker on strike saying “makasibulale asigqibe” in reference to Jacob Zuma who they invite to kill them all. The workers are still on strike; Management has made a wage increase offer of less than R1000. Government has resorted to exercising the Illegal Gathering act and is shooting rubber bullets at the miners who carry weapons as we speak. At last count there were 12 arrested miners. But who is counting? Perhaps they must just go back underground and ensure they quietly go about their work regardless of the fact that they get paid less than street sweepers.
Below is the original opinion I had voiced on the 20th of August. Three days after the Marikana massacre. I have opted to not edit it. It would be to my delight if my earlier views can now be refuted because our leaders have thought of solutions or I was wrong in my assumptions. If Marikana fatigue is killing you at this point you are not obliged to read further.
Truth be told, we still live in a country that fosters black inferiority and white superiority! The sad thing is that it’s no longer the Boere who do it; it’s our own black government that is enforcing an apartheid reality on the black majority. (Andile Mgxitama, 04 October 2011)
Violence is not a surprise in South Africa. Today’s Sowetan “The bodies of three orphaned children were found in Naboomspruit, Limpopo with their hands and feet tied with shoelaces”. One in every two woman is raped at least once in their lifetime…
16 August 2012 the death toll at Marikana stands at 44 people. I think there is more to it than meets the eye. I don’t buy the whole “the miners shot first explanation”. That is no excuse to retaliate with automatic rifles. The entire disaster would have been avoided if the police were proactive. The police knew the people camp on that hill; it had been going on for a week. They should have gone up there at 3am in the morning and set up camp first and then prevented the people from meeting there in the first place…that is of course if their meeting up that hill represents a national crisis. 2. I don’t buy the whole panga, spear & axe threat. Yes I am cognisant of the fact that the miners had reportedly beaten people up with the use of those weapons. That said had those murders transpired at that hilltop? The police argue that the axe-wielding miners were a threat to mine property and the community. We know that IFP protesters do it all the time. The Lonmin bosses have stated that the hill is not on mine property (SA FM interview). Furthermore the people up the hill were the protesting mineworkers no other civilians. If the police had remained a kilometre away would the miners have killed their co-workers who were on the hill with them? Doubt it. City Press asks: Why did police use live ammunition after an order was issued last year forbidding the use of even rubber bullets during public protests?
General Phiyega says the police must not be sorry. You were right General you do not need to be a drunkard to be a bar owner, that said please refrain from visiting bars before making public announcements
You cannot look at this entire incident /accident selectively. Until we know the details of the AMCO and NUM unions struggle we cannot really decide on who is in the wrong as far as the unions are concerned. Nonetheless the Unions have shown a blatant disregard for the lives of their members. We all know that no mine boss will increase your salary from under R5000 to R12 500 after you have embarked on an illegal strike and cost them $ and their stock has dropped by 5 or 6 or whatever %.
Enter Prof. President “Commission of Inquiry” Zuma and he presidentially orders a 7 day mourning period which simply means the country’s flags will fly at half-mast. Really? Prince Mashile poses a non-rhetorical question“If the president was shocked like all citizens, who then is leading the country? My question is why the need to strike in democratic ANC-led 2012. The simple answer none of the elected people supposed to serve the interests of South Africans care. I mean there are bigger fish to fry like Mangaung, staying out of jail and tenders…