The devil in our wicked selves: iLIVE
The past few weeks have been horrific and profound in the most intense and dreadful way imaginable, and has left our nation frustrated, angry and pointing fingers recklessly - and everyone who was present at the brutal shooting that saw 34 people lost their lives at Lonmin mine in Marikana.
The widely publicised pictures of the gruesome incident are believed to mirror the ruthless attacks on blacks by the then South African Police during the apartheid era. More so, one cannot help but think that the belief is not very far-fetched and that perhaps, the devil in our wicked selves still reigns.
Since the incident, people have come from different opposing positions, some in defence of the aggrieved miners and others in defence of the police. However, few have acknowledged, from a behavioural point of view, that the situation was wrong in many ways from the first week of the strike.
It is important to note that democracy is, because we are, and that the idea is as much as meaningless if we fail to act in a manner that is in accordance with its principles. In recognition of the fact that the miners carry “victim” status, it should not conceal the reality that both the unions and their members also have a responsibility to account for their misguided actions. Firstly, for going out on an illegal strike that was not properly monitored and given clear directions on proper conduct. Secondly, for carrying dangerous weapons into open field, and inciting physical violence, that unfortunately, resulted in the killing of 10 people in the first week of the strike. And lastly, having failed to uphold a basic value of the moral society; empathy.
The brutal and disturbing shooting by the police at the vulnerable miners was like adding nothing but large amounts of petrol to a veld fire that was already volatile. Why then, would men gather in the name of wage increase and better working conditions, but instead turn against one another to a point of taking others’ lives? Why would a group of policemen use live-ammunition against a mob, yet claim the primary objective was to disperse the crowd? This is simply a clear indication of our failure to connect with the god-fearing human in ourselves.
If we are to grow as people and as a society that recognizes and aspires to be one that upholds morals and values. We are going to have to dig deep into ourselves as individuals and as parts of the greater community without attempting to set a boundary between the two and the roles they are expected to play.
The best way to defeat the devil in our wicked selves is by living the democracy we want to see prevail around us.