A clip of the tragic shooting at the Lonmin Marikana mine in north-eastern South Africa on Thursday. Video: eNCA - South Africa's leading independent news channel
Open letter to SA President Jacob Zuma – By John Minto
Kia ora President Zuma,
Many New Zealanders who demonstrated so strongly against the apartheid system in the 1970s and 1980s have watched with growing alarm at the direction the African National Congress (ANC) leadership has taken South Africa since the first democratic election in 1994.
The events of the last week culminating in the Marikana massacre of 34 striking mineworkers with dozens injured is the inevitable outcome of the ANC choice to follow free-market economic policies which, wherever and whenever they have been employed in human history, have always transferred wealth from the poor to the rich and stripped hope from the majority.
Under the ANC we have seen South Africa change seemlessly from race-based apartheid to economic apartheid.
We didn’t protest here just to see a few black faces at the top table in South Africa. We didn’t turn out in our tens of thousands to face batons and barbed wire so the likes of former anti-apartheid leaders such as Cyril Ramaphosa, Tokyo Sexwale and Julius Malema could become obscenely rich off the backs of South Africa’s workers – 34 of whom were riddled with police bullets two days ago.
The appalling scenes played out on our TV screens are reminiscent of the darkest days of apartheid such as the Sharpeville massacre of 1960 and the murder of black school children in Soweto in June 1976.
Just as we held the apartheid regime responsible for those massacres, we now hold the ANC government responsible for the massacre of striking mineworkers.
You and your government have blood on their hands.
This year is the 100th anniversary of the formation of the ANC – it should be a time of pride and celebration for all the people of South Africa but the betrayal of the struggle by the ANC leadership leaves most of us cold.
As a spokesperson for Abahlahli baseMjondolo, which is struggling for decent housing against violence and intimidation said last month:
“All is slowly sinking as the new government is making sure that we remember the heroes of the struggle but not what the struggle was for”.
At this time of deep sadness for those and injured and their families, and anger at the ineptitude, self-service and corruption running to the core of your government, we stand once more with the poor and oppressed people of South Africa and their struggle for freedom, hope and dignity.
John Minto is a Global Justice and Peace Auckland (GPJA) spokesperson and a tireless campaigner for social justice in South Africa. He is a previous contributor to Café Pacific.
>>> Popular Café Pacific Posts
AWARD-WINNING filmmakers Annie Goldson ( Brother Number One, An Island Calling ), and Kay Ellmers ( Canvassing the Treaty, Polynesian Panth...
The arrests of more than 1600 protesters in West Papua earlier this week are part of a broader systematic oppression of Papuans by the I...
New Zealand Labour MPs Louisa Wall and Kris Fa'afoi, a former journalist, speaking about the Marriage Amendment Bill and Pacific cul...
Greenpeace activists create a solar symbol around a world-famous Paris landmark, the Arc de Triomphe. © Greenpeace OPINION: By Kum...
This picture taken on January 18, 2015 shows a giant half-broken pencil near the headquarters of French satirical newspaper Charlie ...
University of Papua New Guinea's Emily Matasororo ... in the bac k ground, images of heavily armed police shortly before they opene...
Photo: Del Abcede / PMC THE MOST astonishing unreported story in this week’s Pacific Island Forum in Auckland was a remarkable shift by t...
MELBOURNE-based Fiji academic and commentator Dr Mosese Waqa (caricature) had some kind words to say about the Pacific Scoop coverage of t...
Mourners at the Auckland, New Zealand, vigil for Paris at the weekend. Photo: David Robie By Belen Fernandez AS NEWS arrived of terr...
MORE than 40 people with wide-ranging expertise will pool their knowledge and ideas and propose an action plan for peace at a two-day con...