Marikana Killings: Africa's Dilemma

Published on 28th August 2012

South Africa’s recent police killings of 44 people at Lonmin’s Marikana mine, the deadliest since the end of apartheid,  highlight the dilemma and undercurrents that are driving African politics. Zuma's alleged spending of  a few minutes with the miners but more time with Lonmin's executives shows the dilemma that African leaders are faced with as they juggle to satisfy special interest groups and millions of Africans clamouring for a share of the national cake.

While it is not going to be easy for the minority that control 90% of South Africa’s economy to allow for economic freedom in the country, there must be a balance between external interests and local interests.

Under the current global economic order supervised by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund; African leaders are coerced to succumb to external interests that more often are at odds with the needs of the African citizenry. This breeds detached leadership that ignores policies that should give more Africans a fair chance at the market place. 

Africans have howver started asking hard questions such as: “Who controls the economy?” “Is political freedom enough?” “Does the law (constitution) that relegates the majority into a crowd of dancing voters instead of economic producers serve Africa's interests?” To ignore Africans who have been disenfranchised by the global market order is to breed anarchy. Leaders on the continent must prioritize  striking a win-win stance while navigating the tough waters of internal interests versus external interests.

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