A day ago, thousands of South Africans poured into the town of Marikana to mark the massacre that took place there a decade ago in what has been described as the worst act of police brutality since the end of apartheid.
Exactly ten years ago, mine workers had converged on a hill near the mine to press for better working conditions and pay. Then, on August 16, 2012, the police had stormed the place and opened fire on the platinum mine.
By the time the smoke cleared, 34 people lay dead, and 78 others were injured. The massacre reverberated around the world, with some analysts comparing it to the gruesome murders that took place during the apartheid era.
It may have been a decade since the massacre, but no one has been charged for it – a source of chagrin in many quarters of South Africa’s political and national life. The gathering in Marikana yesterday only served to remind the world that the wounds are still open, and it might take a while before it heals properly.
According to some of those who converged at Marikna, the massacre in the town reminds them of the Soweto uprising. Another convergence is expected to take place again next year.