The letter Marikana no massacre from Dr Lucas Ntyintyane, Bloemfontein was first published in BDlive on 21 August 2012 and here are some extracts with the kind permission of BDlive.   It is highly recommended that the full letter be read by clicking on the links.

“WHAT massacre?    Newspapers have a tendency to sensationalise stories to detract from shallow journalism.   If there was a story that exposed the sorry state of journalism, it is the Marikana violence.”

“We are made to believe that police officers are not humans but aliens out to destroy black people.   Black police officers understand the pain of being black in this country.   I will be the first to admit our police force is far from perfect.   But I am going to defend the action of the police in Marikana.”

“Let’s start from the beginning.   A massacre is when defenceless and harmless people are mowed down like flies.   Remember the Boipatong and Langa massacres.   Lonmin — it is a big no, no.   Those workers were not on a picnic.   They were on the war path.   Those who died are nothing but casualties of that war.   Don’t call it a massacre.   It was either the police or the workers who had to die.   Someone had to die.   People go into a war prepared to pay with their lives.   Marikana is a symptom of a dysfunctional society.”

“There is hypocrisy in the Lonmin tragedy.   When the same mineworkers went on a rampage last year and killed black foreign immigrants in the nearby township, there was a loud silence from everyone.   The parliamentarians were nowhere to be seen.   No one donated money for the funerals of those black foreigners.”

“Let us stop repeating the lies that Marikana was about better working conditions.   Nothing of that sort.   The killed mineworkers were pawns in a turf war of their union bosses.   When stupid and greedy leaders are in charge people die.   They always do.   The union leaders must face the law.”

“You have buffoons like Julius Malema dancing on people’s graveyards to seek political relevance.   Who the hell do you think you are, Mr Malema?  Don’t use others’ pain for your glory.’

“Marikana pains me.   It should not have happened.”