Unless bridges are built between competing sides, legacies of bitterness, hatred and fear, often distorted by prejudice and myth, can persist for decades, even generations. And when there are are fairly recent incidents, especially those involving bloodshed and human loss, feelings, particularly among those who identify as victims, are all the more acute.
17 March 2014 NEWS
Four days after the bloodletting that has become known as the Marikana massacre, my Inside Labour column supported the call for a comprehensive and independent inquiry. And it noted, reflecting a widespread view within the labour movement: “The Lonmin tragedy is a wake-up call that South Africa will ignore at its peril.” Now, 19 months later and with the strike on the platinum belt having gone on for nearly two months, that warning seems even more appropriate. Below is an updated commentary that first appeared on the first anniversary of Marikana.
10 March 2014 OPINION
Vague ideas of transformation are all the rage these days. Take the latest bun fight in Davos, for example. The annual gathering of the grandly named World Economic Forum (WEF) that ended last weekend met under the heading: “The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business.”
31 January 2014 OPINION
Given the potentially highly volatile social, political and economic situation in South Africa today it would be foolhardy to forecast in any detail how the country and its people — let alone the labour movement — will fare in 2014.
22 January 2014 OPINION
Far from the bustling streets of downtown Johannesburg, much of it built by the bounty of South Africa’s gold mines, thousands of former mineworkers suffer from painful diseases contracted on the job. These men labour to breathe, their lungs degraded by the occupational diseases of silicosis and tuberculosis.
20 January 2014 NEWS
One element lacking in the current debates about what is going on in Cosatu is any sense of recent history. Because there is nothing really new in the current spate of political bloodletting, in the bitterness and the backstabbing.
2 December 2013 OPINION
Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven was amazed at the media interest shown in the
eleventh national congress of the federation. Shortly before the congress opened its
doors, 347 media accreditations had been processed, with additional enquiries still
being dealt with.
26 September 2012 OPINION