By: Gayton McKenzie
The Marikana massacre will go down as one of the worst in South Africa, as did the Boipatong massacre. The politicians’ voices rung in unison “never again” during their condemnation of these massacres.
What the politicians meant was “never again for mostly blacks, whites or rhinos” – but coloured people can be massacred.
Coloured people on the Cape Flats are experiencing their own “Marikana” every weekend, but it’s okay because it’s only coloureds, right? When you look at the number of farmers who die, it’s mostly the plight of white people that gets international prominence. Hundreds and millions of rands are being poured into the curbing of farm murders. Right-wing-minded people have dubbed it a white genocide. But if it’s true that five white farmers die a month compared to 200 coloured people a month, who is really facing a genocide?
The military has finally been deployed in the needed areas, but with a meagre budget of R23 million. The rhinos have access to more funding! I can confirm, from a reliable source, that even our special military forces have been used to fight rhino poaching, and I dare anyone in government to deny this! Such courtesy is not granted to the killings of coloured people. Instead, we have an ill-equipped, underfunded and poorly briefed army being sent in. You might ask how I know they were not properly briefed – I’m not a soldier or part of the military.
Well, death tolls are still rising even with their presence. The gangsters proceed, and it is business as usual.
Just imagine, for a second, if 10-year-old white and black kids were shot and killed every weekend. This country would be turned upside down. We see no real action because it’s “only coloured kids”.
It’s a war out there on the Cape Flats. The war has long stopped being between the members of the gangs. Families who have lost mothers and fathers are avenging their deaths. People have moved from their homes. Children don’t go to school due to the fear of getting hit by a stray bullet.
Living in a certain area makes you a gangster according to gang lineage. Death is not lurking at every corner but rather in your room – hence most people sleep in the corridors of their houses. A window is an invitation for an unwanted bullet. Twelve-year-olds are brain-washed killing machines. Their white and black peers are playing the latest Call of Duty shooter game, while coloured boys are doing the real thing, every day, in a fight for survival.
I personally have buried many children, young and innocent, who were shot at their school playground or playing outside their home. How much more ridiculous can this get? The happiest place for any kid is playtime – and even this has been stolen from coloured children.
Teachers are also at great risk. They don’t know which children are associated with which gangs. A strong tone or a reprimand from a teacher may mean attending another tragic church service for a burial later that same week. They risk being targeted every time they report a drug seller because the real owners of the drugs will take it personally. And everything a gangster takes personally leads to sure death.
White children and people working in the corporate world are being taught about fire drills – when the alarm goes off, they know exactly what to do. Have you ever heard about a bullet drill? No, because it’s coloureds being shot. There are more shootings than fires in Cape Town and still, people just run, sometimes meeting the bullet halfway.
This is racism. You are racist if you don’t care about coloured lives. You are okay because the people who are dying are not from your race. What other explanation is there? Please tell me.
ANC member Blackman Ngoro many years ago said that coloured people are just drunkards and nothing else. You have all adapted a Blackman Ngoro attitude in dealing with the many deaths on the Cape Flats.
The DA has created too few jobs in Cape Town – the only sure jobs are from the gangs. And the ANC has sent in an army to console us and shut us up.
I want to cry writing this, not because of the racism of our government towards coloured people, and not because of the racist media that doesn’t even acknowledge 23 people being killed as a headline story (I saw not even five people being killed in a shooting in the United States and it was on every television station and made the headlines of every newspaper in South Africa). When last did any of you reading this feel outraged about so many children and adults dying?
I want to cry, but not because more people have died on the Cape Flats war during democracy than during apartheid.
I want to cry, but not because the DA and ANC are playing a political blame game while the blood of coloured people is filling the gutters.
I want to cry, but not because of new killers being born with every killing of a father – the son is ripe for recruitment and the gang leaders waste no time.
Let me tell you why I am crying. I am crying because you have no idea how to sort out the problem, you have no plan, you have no strategy, you have no political will, you have no appetite. Sadly, you have no heart.
I pray that the shootings move out of the Cape Flats into Constantia and Bishopscourt, as sad and heartless as it sounds. It will only be then that we will see real action, tangible plans, and solutions.
Many of us are willing to assist but we are aware that you will not engage with some of us because of politics and differences.
Coloured child, you are on your own. I pray that you survive your “Marikana” this weekend and the weekends thereafter…