Tweet One hundred years before the first democratic elections saw Nelson Mandela elected as president of a fully democratic nation, a small tribe in a distant corner of South Africa struggled against invaders trying to subjugate them, and seize their lands. GREG MARINOVICH explores this history and finds a whole lot more. From May of […]
Tweet It is a year since the event that shook South Africa to its core. There is no need to belabour what occurred in the dusty veld of Marikana on 16 August 2012, other than to say it was the first massacre by South African security forces in a democratic epoch. GREG MARINOVICH looks at […]
Tweet The truth is that factional violence has long been a way of life in the mining union business. And that was when there was just one power player, the NUM. Now, with two unions battling for supremacy in the Platinum Belt, the matrix of rivalries increases the possibility of violence exponentially. What makes the […]
Tweet As US authorities hunt the second of two young men, boys really, in and around Boston, I look at how and why two smart young kids are willing to kill strangers and die thousands of kilometres from the home in the former Soviet Republic of Chechnya. Chechnya hit world headlines in 1994 when the […]
Tweet INCIDENT IN A SMALL TOWN When eighteen year old Norman ‘Herman’ Mokau and his friends walked from Meetsetshehla Secondary School in the western Limpopo town of Vaalwater on November 24th, 2011 and changed from their uniforms into street clothes, they were happy, upbeat and planning to get drunk. They had finished writing their last […]
Tweet Mzoxolo Magidiwana, on crutches, says police went around finishing off wounded miners. The Marikana Commission has finally begun to hear from the miners who were at the heart of the strike last year. Terrifying testimony from Mzoxolo Magidiwana who says police went around finishing off wounded miners at scene one. He […]
Tweet After two days of violent protests against plans to merge Sasolburg into the Ngwathe local municipality, Sasolburg’s black township, Zamdela, was quiet for a brief spell on Tuesday morning. The roads were littered with the burnt-out carcasses of trucks, bakkies, buses, and debris from concrete blocks to tree stumps. But when Cooperative Governance and […]
They were Ntsenyeho’s miner comrades and they were angry
“It only says that he died of unnatural causes. Nothing more. We have many questions.”
Tweet Greg Marinovich, Marikana. In a tumble of boulders quite near the hill called Wonderkop, yellow spray paint defaces the ancient granite. This is not graffiti, yet something far worse than vandalism took place here, at the spot locals dismissively refer to as Small Koppie. One rock, encompassed closely on all sides by […]
It looks like war. It is a war. A war of survival, certainly for the miners, and perhaps for the future of Rustenburg’s platinum mines too.
Burnt mud brick huts punctuated the tropical landscape and an eerie silence hangs over deserted homesteads. A flattened patch of tall grass is pointed out as the site of LRA killings.
the knotted strands of grass that I took to indicate the presence of mines, or was it an absence of mines?
Were they so sure of the extermination of their enemies that they thought they were safe from retribution?
“When love becomes hate. I met a woman who killed her own kids.”
“The longer you stay shooting a dead body, the longer somebody is bleeding, the longer you suffer.”
My team of hired guns included a twelve year old boy in flip flops carrying a fifty caliber machine gun
Tweet Under shady trees, I pass close by a security gate. A deep-throated bark stirs my adrenal gland. A dog in a Springbok jersey, number 14. Boerboel, muscular, cut. Ray Mordt, I thought without hesitation. Overgrown sidewalk, man in sunglasses and lumber jacket walking towards me, his hands are in his pockets. As he nears […]
We toasted his death with Coca Cola before I pedaled off with a light heart and a heavy bike.
No war today, the goons have gone away.
It’s clear that paraffin lamps and candles were the common currency of luma here.
Tweet A mix of quiet dignity and wild joy marked the days leading up to the establishment of the world’s newest country. Rising from the ashes of the continent’s longest running civil war – from 1955 until, well, actually, it is still kind of going on right now, despite an intermission and lots of paperwork […]
There is a vicarious thrill to watching mother nature hand it out
Tweet The tall lean man spoke around the breakfast he was chewing on, his blue eyes flicked at me, “Human barbeque, it smelt like human barbeque for a year down here,” said the bankrupt doctor in that distinct New York City argot of machine-gun staccato words with unpredictable cadence. I glanced accusingly at Leonie, who […]