Marikanareflections

Philip Fourie, Gordon’s Bay

The tragic events at Marikana are still troubling the conscience of South Africa.

After five years, no closure has been reached.

From a recent news report I gathered that ballistics experts are now trying to determine the trajectories of individual bullets fired by the police during those few minutes. What an exercise in futility.

It seemed obvious that there was really no way to determine the exact sequence of actions taken by the hundreds of individuals involved, as well as their responsibilities for events.

It was also obvious that each individual and party involved would, in the first place, try to deny all guilt.

My feeling at the time, was that the proper course of action would be (a) for the cabinet to declare a national day of mourning; (b) for the leaders of all organisations involved to sign a joint acceptance of responsibility; (c) for the relatives of each of the dead miners to be given an annuity which would provide a decent income in perpetuity, to be funded by the mining company(ies) involved.

It also seemed obvious that once lawyers were involved, their primary interest would be to drag out proceedings as long as possible.

I would not be surprised if the total of the legal fees paid to them far exceeded the cost of the annuities mentioned in the previous paragraph.