Luke 10:25ff – New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Like we read in this scripture, the workers were robbed and left for dead. The Levite came and saw them, but left them.
Their yellow union, the company, the police, everybody left them for dead.
They thought there would be no tomorrow.
Nobody could care less about them.
We cared and we still care today.
This is the gist of the commemoration today.
What happened on that day? The actual sequence of events has been distorted.
Comrades, it must be said that all the days of the struggle were important in our Revolution. However, there is no day that is more important than 16 August 2012 in our modern-day history of South Africa.
We must remind ourselves that, on this day at this very place, 34 mineworkers were robbed of their lives. Their mothers and fathers were robbed of sons, their wives were robbed of husbands and their children were robbed of fathers.
This was the day that exposed the ANC and its government that we have not yet attained our freedom.
• If we are truly liberated, why do we still see the structural wage inequality that is the order of the day, 25 years after the dawn of democracy?
• If we are indeed free, why are we still price-takers when we want to export our minerals?
• Why must London and New York decide how much they will pay us for our gold and our platinum?
16 August 2012 provided a window on the harsh reality of the power of Capital when endorsed by the State. It showed everybody how politicians used their influence to manipulate State apparatus for the sake of protecting the financial interests of Capital.
This show of power was necessary, and the bloodshed was intentionally aimed at proving to Capital that the State will protect its assets at all costs.
It was a confirmation of how the State was captured, and the blood of our comrades was proof of what the State will do to show its obedience to their masters.
We must ask ourselves deep questions about the real causes of the Lonmin Massacre of 16 August 2012, Comrades.
We must not be fooled into thinking that it was a coincidence or a mere blunder by the State. It was intentional and it served a very specific purpose.
Any state, once its weaknesses have been exposed, is vulnerable to all sorts of social ills. We see these social ills today – never-ending conflicts at all tiers of our society, from service-delivery protests to violent clashes between the police and foreign nationals.
Just the other day we witnessed how, in Johannesburg, foreign nationals attacked police with all sorts of weapons. Armoured vehicles and policemen and policewomen were pelted with stones. Vehicles were damaged beyond repair and officers were seriously injured with stones and pangas.
What happened? Nothing.
The police retreated and only returned the next few days.
Today, 7 years ago at this kopje in Marikana, workers didn’t throw a single stone. Workers never attacked police. All they were doing was peaceful protest for better living and working conditions. But, still they were brutally massacred on live television.
Service-delivery protests have become the order of the day.
The so-called Total Shutdown Movement is active in all major cities, and in rural communities the decay is as clear as daylight. Anyone who cannot see that our State has failed the people of this country, must either be blind or choose to be blinded by personal interest.
Another social ill is that of unemployment – currently almost at 30%. That means that a full third of our people do not have jobs, and we all know that this definition of unemployment is too narrow. Many economists say that it is closer to 50%…
This is more proof of the failure of government to transform our economy to generate growth and create employment.
Through the failures of government, our economy cannot create enough jobs for our people. Humans are degraded to revert to other ways to make a living, like selling their bodies. Their human dignity is being destroyed.
We are on a dangerous trajectory…
As the Good Book says, a tree will be known by its fruit. It would be non-sensical to expect anything else than what we see today. You can never plant a tree of corruption and greed, and then expect fruits of democracy and prosperity to come forth.
The fact of the matter is that our government is gradually destroying communities by promising empty democracy and its delicious aroma, while only serving the stale and rotten fruits of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
We don’t have leadership in South Africa. No. We only have managers. They manage this country on behalf of its owners, those behind the curtain – big business. Capital holds the levers of this country, and they have co-opted politicians to manage it for their best interest. The needs of the people and democracy have become mere window dressing. It has become a façade for what is really happening.
The sad reality is that 1994 was not a deal to liberate us. It was a deal to continue with our slavery under the democratic order. It was a deal struck with a small elite of black managers, to ensure that the looting of our resources and the profits in London and New York can be protected at all cost.
CODESA promised us a constitution to bring restitution and democracy, but instead we were fed lies. We were left with a constitution that only serves to protect the property of Capital. Who benefits from this constitution? Surely not us as South Africans…
The small black elite in political power was extended through BEE to ensure that businesses are also run in line with the interests of Capital.
Young black men and women are trained to become house slaves of Capital to serve in the rooms of their masters. In exchange for their preferential treatment and their personal economic emancipation, they deny their fellow slaves a livelihood and a fair share of the spoils of exploitation. This became evident during the Five-Month Sibanye Gold Strike.
For 25 years, we were sitting next to the pool of healing. Nobody was taking us inside to be healed. Like we read in John 5, workers were told to pick up their mats and walk home.
We need to re-classify ourselves as Africans, not as Blacks, not as Coloureds, not as Indians, not as Whites. A true African cannot rape his sister. A true African does not sell drugs to his brother.
We need to empower ourselves. Why must we be empowered by foreign countries?
The greatness of a nation is not measured by its economy… The greatness of a nation is not measured by the best infrastructure… The greatness of a nation is measured by its obedience to God, by looking after the poor and the weak. Sadly, this is not the case.
We are all created in God’s likeness. We all have one Father. Therefore, we are all brothers and sisters.
Then, where does hatred comes from? How can you claim to love God whom you haven’t seen but you hate your brother whom you see every day?
Where does killing comes from? Let’s start all over again. Let’s us love ourselves … especially us men… A real man doesn’t rape. A real man doesn’t steal. A real man doesn’t kill. A real man doesn’t abuse his family. A real man will never disrespect a woman. A real man will never beat a woman.
We are what we are, through women… They carried us for 9 months with love and without failure. A woman suffers the pain of life and death for 9 months, not knowing that what she is carrying will be her hell…
How dare you touch a woman? The punishment must fit the crime. Bring back death penalty!
Government will never be in the position to curb this crime. Our Constitution it’s been captured by criminals.
Let us be born again in mind!
State capture is not new.
State capture is not something that started with former President Jacob Zuma. State capture is an institution in South Africa. State capture already started becoming clearly visible in the early 1900s when the Chamber of Mines ensured that the wages of black mineworkers on the Witwatersrand are kept as low as possible.
The system of migrant labour was designed to ensure a steady flow of cheap labour to the mines.
The State was co-opted by the Chamber of Mines to ensure that black men were forced to leave their homesteads to work on the mines.
• Head taxes meant that you had to pay to be a citizen of this country.
• The 1913 Land Expropriation Bill forced them from their subsistence farms.
• They could no longer sustain themselves from their own plots of land and live from their own livestock and produce.
• They had to pay money to the State.
• This meant that they had to earn money, and the biggest employer of the day was the mines on the Witwatersrand.
When they arrived on the mines, they were forced to buy their own mattresses to sleep on concrete beds.
The cost of their overalls, hard-hats, boots and lamps was deducted from their first slave wages, which meant that they had no money to send back home.
Their families were left in extreme poverty, and they were forced to start the never-ending battle for survival on slave wages.
These horrible conditions lead to several strikes in the early 1900s, and one of the biggest was the Rand Rebellion of 1922. During this strike, Capital again uses the State under General Jan Smuts to kill 153 mineworkers, injure 500, arrest 5 000 and dismiss thousands.
Under the National Party the plight of black mineworkers became even worse, and Capital continued to use the State to further its profit-driven interests.
After 1994, despite a range of new labour legislation, the core problem of economic inequality was not addressed.
Instead, the ANC chose to continue with the process of ensuring the prosperity of a few over the poverty of many.
From uTata Nelson Mandela to former President Thabo Mbeki this trend continued, and Zuma merely upset the Capitalists by choosing to give the prime control to the Gupta brothers.
White Monopoly Capital was truly upset, because their steady flow of money was interrupted.
A New Dawn?
And now? The New Dawn? Not at all.
Our sitting president has openly declared his preference for Capital and foreign investors. State capture is alive and kicking.
Instead of proper economic policies that can give us growth and prosperity, we have corruption and looting of resources.
Our economic policies are only about foreign direct investment, with almost no real focus on transforming our economy for the good of the nation.
We are not a poor country. We are just poorly managed.
We are blessed with many riches. We are blessed with a wealth of natural resources and minerals.
If only these minerals were properly managed, we could have used the wealth to address many of our socio-economic challenges.
It is high time that mining communities join hands with AMCU in pursuance of returning back what belongs to us – without any apology.
We have been very much apologetic for the past 25 years, without scratching the surface of the Capital’s conscience.
We don’t need foreign direct investment. We need investment in local capacity and local industries.
We don’t need a Fourth Industrial Revolution! We need an Economic Revolution!
• As AMCU we believe that there should be a quota system to regulate the exports of our minerals.
• At least 40% of our minerals must be locally utilised. It should be used to stimulate industrialisation and beneficiation.
• This government, if it is serious about economic growth, must make bar certain products from import and earmarked for localised manufacturing. Import tariffs must be imposed on identified products.
Nationalisation is not new. State-Owned Enterprises of the Apartheid government were forms of nationalisation. Eskom, Yskor, Denel, and the railways… The only difference was that it was designed to serve the needs of the white minority.
Nationalisation should serve a greater purpose.
What is owned by black indigenous leadership, becomes an easy target for the government to expropriate. But the vast resources owned by White Monopoly Capital will not be touched.
Changing the laws
We have made comprehensive proposals to amend the health and safety legislation and regulations, but our government has ignored us.
Labour Relations Act – we have campaigned against s189 – why does this government give Capital so much power to destroy families to ensure their profit.
This means that workers, if they are not killed, are exploited and retrenched.
Section 197 is truly a form of modern slavery.
It is a new slave trade, where the bosses sell us to one another.
A fresh example is how the bosses of Lonmin sold us to the boss of Sibanye.
If we had to choose, would we ever choose to work for Sibanye?
Do we want to work for a boss who insults us with R300?
It is below inflation! It is not even a loaf of bread per day!
Our children will be hungry.
Workers of Lonmin wanted to buy the mine, but the State gave it to Sibanye. Members of AMCU wanted to bring their money and buy.
This is spit on the grave of Cde Mambush and the others who died here. We died for R12 500. You give us R300.
The R300 is not about money. It is about provoking workers. It is about getting us to strike. It is about retrenching workers. The same as in the Gold Strike…
We are the rightful owners. The minerals belong to the people. How can you deny the people? The government is only the custodian!
It is quite clear that their interest is not in this country and its people. How can this government allow one person to loot the minerals that belong to the people. How can he be allowed to set his own exorbitant salary, and then turn around to exploit the workers?
How many mines have been shut down for the sake of profits?
Recently US President Donald Trump stopped a train, until such time as the workers are paid. How many trains have offloaded the loot of our minerals in Richards Bay and secured the profits of the fat cats?
To make our politicians accountable, we must change the electoral system of this country. AMCU has said it for a number of years. Leaders must be elected by the people. Not the political party. Yes, the party can nominate, but the people must elect people.
Municipal officials must be appointed where they come from. They must be accountable.
The current status of South Africa needs a new political system. This centralised system cannot work. There is too much distance between the State and the People. Maybe we need a federal state. Then you measure the economy of every state, and pay a certain tax to the federal body. This must not be construed as Bantustan or self-determination like Orania. AMCU has consistently pointed out that our education system serves only the needs of White Monopoly Capital. It fails to teach the black child to think independently. It fails to address the economic needs of our country.Under these circumstances, each and every province – in order to counter the current economic trend – there must be at least one mine or one major industry owned by the State, in order to assist the social development of the surrounding communities.
We need leaders who truly love the communities they serve. We don’t need popstars…
We need to be born again.
Workers are forced, killed just for being AMCU members. The reason is that they are being persecuted. Now they can see. They were blind, and now they can see. They were caught up in poverty, but now they can see…
Like we read in John 9:25, the blind man did not care about when the work was done. He only appreciated the fact that he could see again.
Comrades, I thank you for making the journey to attend the 7th commemoration of the massacre that happened at this very place.
I thank you for showing your respect to the 34 comrades who fell while peacefully demonstrating against the horrible working conditions all of us continue to face.
AMCU will continue to be the voice of workers as a genuine trade union with a genuine mission to achieve economic emancipation in our lifetime.
I thank you…