Sadly sometimes there is no time to mourn…

This week I was fortunate to break away for a few days *

…much required when you live in busy Jozi.

We desperately needed to get out of the city and only decided on Sunday morning we will venture off to the North West.

Totally oblivious to the route we will take…I was quite surprised when we passed the notorious Lonmin’s Marikana Mines.  Last week saw a bloody massacre happen at this typically quiet mining town called Marikana.

Police opened fire on a group of striking workers on Thursday, killing 44 of them and wounding 78. Another 260 were arrested and charged with public violence.

The little town of Marikana began in the year 1870 on the farm Rooikoppes. The indigenous people of the area are the Bapo of Kgosi Mogale who were forcefully removed to Wonderkop in the 1960s. From the one farm in 1870, the settlement expanded into seven white-owned farms.  As in numerous other parts of South Africa, the South African War (SAW) of 1899-1902 disrupted the lives of the people of Marikana.  After the SAW, a few Indian families moved into what had then become a small town and opened shops. In 1933, Buffelspoort dam was constructed in the nearby Sterksroom river. This dam enabled the town’s farmers to irrigate their crops. By 1950, Marikana had seven white and five black schools. In about 1976, platinum mining began very close to Marikana. The mining town is called Mooinooi. Meanwhile, Marikana was given a municipality status, but as part of, and under, Rustenburg Municipality. (

Now to start off…this story made headlines for the whole of last week.  I kept tabs while on the road visiting sites.  Now I don’t know all the exact facts of what happened.  All I know is that a lot of people lost their lives…unnecessarily.

I am not one for politics and proletarian rights but this is a real sad situation.  Driving through this town today (on our way back) it looked extremely calm.

Although there is still a huge police presence (we were pulled over by very stern-looking cops with huge guns), all looked quiet.

Made me think about all those families having to carry on with life after their father, brother, husband, son violently passed away.  He probably was the breadwinner too.

How do you move on with such a huge setback?  How do you make yourself to get up in the morning, tend to your kids and deal with the loss?

*This has been on my mind the whole day.  Sadly also I got the disturbing news that our building (contractor) foreman’s wife also passed away today.  She was young and suddenly fell very ill.  He is young also, and is now left to raise two children under the age of 5.

These people were ordinary workers trying to make a living and providing for their families.  They don’t have rich relatives or money stashed away.

Usually you take some time off to mourn the loss of a loved one…is it not unfair that some of them don’t even have this basic right.  Some of those left behind have to immediately get back up again and go to work!  No work no pay isn’t it?

Sjoe! (an Afrikaans word to express shock or disbelief; pronounced like shoo).  How do you deal with the inevitable…DEATH…it’s a part of life.  On the other hand some of us believe death is the beginning of our new eternal life.  It is something I really look forward to…but my carnal mind and earthly body has to deal with death as a human being.

Ecclesiastes 3

A Time for Everything
1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which isplanted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
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