Friday, August 31, 2012

Turning justice on its head

Two weeks ago, South African police massacred 34 striking workers at the Marikana mine. In a just country, those police would be put on trial, and if the evidence was sufficient, convicted and punished. instead, the South African state is prosecuting the surviving miners for murder using an Apartheid-era law:

Workers arrested at South Africa's Marikana mine have been charged in court with the murder of 34 of their colleagues shot by police.

The 270 workers would be tried under the "common purpose" doctrine because they were in the crowd which confronted police on 16 August, an official said.

Police opened fire, killing 34 miners and sparking a national outcry.

This turns justice on its head. The police are the killers here. Prosecuting their victims is as evil as Saudi Arabia's practice of prosecuting rape victims for "adultery".

But what it makes clear is that the "new" South Africa is pretty much the same as the old one. Black people are still kept in poverty, and murdered when they try to change that. The only difference is that a few of them now get to hold the whip that keeps the rest in line.