As the legendary life of South African leader Nelson Mandela draws to a close his legacy to his people has been brutally splashed across television screens worldwide showing neo-Apartheid police firing automatic weapons into crowds of striking African miners, killing two score or more and wounding nearly a hundred.
Every day crushed, broken and lifeless bodies of Africans are dragged from hellholes under the earth, joining a list of untold thousands who gave their lives enriching the bank accounts of western “shareholders” of gold, platinum and diamond mines in South Africa.
Working up to a mile underground, 10, 12 or more hours a day, where the very stones they bring crashing down are almost to hot to touch, and all for a dollar or two an hour.
With platinum in oversupply and prices steadily falling a British boardroom tightened the screws with safety slashed and workers, neo-Apartheid slaves really, pushed past their limit.
Last week the inevitable happened and Africans stood tall, downed tools and marched in the open air demanding to be treated as humans. Why risk our lives everyday yet not be able to provide a future for our children, to even afford to pay for their school fees they cried out.
And the answer given to them by their neo-Apartheid masters was no different than that received by their forefathers this century or more past, bullets shedding more African blood.
Only this time it was an African giving the commands, with Africans standing side by side with Boers and Englishmen that fired weapons that massacred their erstwhile brothers.
While for the Africans slaving away everyday in the western owned mines life since the worst days of the Apartheid state has seen only small improvements, for the new, black, South African elite life has never been better.
Living in white neighborhoods, sending their children to white schools, sitting side by side at the tables of power with those they previously addressed as “baas”, the legacy of St. Nelson has been a true golden reward for some.
Today the servility of the neo-Apartheid African elite on behalf of their western masters has gone beyond all discretion.
It was the South African UN Ambassador, a black man, who cast the crucial vote allowing NATO to institute a “no fly zone” over Libya that saw the massacre by western air forces of 80,000 Libyans, or more.
It is a dark hued South African woman who sits as UN Commissioner of Human Rights who keeps under lock and key a report on the western funded genocide in the Ogaden, under the direct orders of Gayle Smith, a white woman in the White House, USA.
It is a black South African, former wife of the current President, who so proudly presides over the African Union soldiers enforcing their marching orders from Pax Americana, carrying out the occupation and slaughter of Somalis in Mogadishu.
While on her way to her AU installation ceremony in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Ms. Zuma must have made sure not to look out of the tinted, bullet proof windows of her limo so as not to catch sight of the hundreds of thousands of her fellow Africans in the streets surrounding the AU headquarters, protesting the high crimes and genocide of her by then comatose host, Meles Zenawi.
This past thursday saw black South African blood spilled once again but at least this time it was spilled by Africans standing up as men, in the open air, not dying an ignoble death deep in the bowels of the earth. Fighting for a future for their children, fighting against the racially mixed agents of violent enforcement of the neo-Apartheid legacy of St. Nelson, former President Mandela, the first black president of a “free, democratic” South Africa.
Thomas C. Mountain was active in the anti-Apartheid movement and represented the USA at the 1st Asia-Oceania Anti-Apartheid, Anti-Racist Conference in Tokyo, Japan in 1988. Today he is the most widely distributed independent journalist in Africa, living and reporting from Eritrea since 2006. He can be reached at thomascmountain at yahoo dot com.