Learn from our history - or be doomed to relive it
The Times Editorial: The images we saw on television and in the newspapers were vivid and clear. ANC supporters, accompanied by their leaders, marching towards Bhisho, the capital of Ciskei.
They demanded the removal of Oupa Gqozo, the military leader whose recognition stretched only as far as the Union Buildings where his masters pulled the strings.
It was during this march 20 years ago today that 28 ANC supporters were mowed down by Gqozo's soldiers when they attempted to enter Bisho.
Following the shootings, Justice Richard Goldstone was tasked with investigating the massacre and made several findings that led to action being taken against soldiers who fired at the protesters.
The tragedy resulted in the collapse of the Ciskei Bantustan system and fast-tracked the peace negotiations between the ANC and the apartheid government led by FW de Klerk.
As we remember that day and the tragedy that played itself out on our televisions, we cannot help but reflect on what happened recently at Marikana.
Though the two shootings arose from different circumstances, the killing of protesters by security forces shows us that bad habits are indeed contagious.
We cannot afford to be talking of a massacre when we have a democratically elected government. It would seem that those we have elected have forgotten where they, and we, come from. The conduct of police reflects the government of the day.
When ANC supporters marched towards Bhisho, no one thought that they would be mowed down like animals. Nor could we believe our eyes when the police opened fire on Marikana protesters with live ammunition.
Just as President FW de Klerk launched a commission of inquiry after Bhisho, so too has President Jacob Zuma after Marikana. We hope that action will be taken against those who gave the orders and those officers who killed when it was not necessary.