South Africa’s ‘Marikana Moment’
Source: The Nation
The Marikana strike in South Africa is finally over, but the legacy of the massacre that took place there two months ago may prove to be as enduring as that of the Sharpeville massacre more than four decades earlier. On March 21, 1960, the South African police fired into a crowd of demonstrators protesting the apartheid pass laws at Sharpeville, killing sixty-nine. On August 16, 2012, the South African police fired at a crowd of striking wildcat miners at Marikana, killing thirty-four. Not surprisingly, many in South Africa have labeled Marikana the Sharpeville of our times, all the more devastating because the fingers pulling those triggers were controlled by a government voted into power to realize the aspirations of the majority rather than to shoot them down.