Category Archives: Marikana Land Occupation

Sacrifice After Mandela: Liberation and Liberalization Among South Africa’s First Post-Apartheid Generation

Kerry Chance, Anthropological Quarterly

This article examines sacrifice in a post-Mandela South Africa. Twenty years since the fall of apartheid, South Africa remains one of the world’s most unequal societies. From street protests to labor strikes to xenophobic pogroms, dissatisfaction with current socio-economic conditions is being expressed through urban unrest, particularly in townships and shack settlements. This article analyzes an emerging idiom of “sacrifice” among youth activists in response to deaths and injuries sustained during recent street protests. I argue that this idiom draws from understandings of liberation and liberalization, popular imaginaries of the anti-apartheid struggle, and processes associated with the country’s transition to democracy. Broadly, I suggest that sacrifice under liberalization reveals the blurring boundaries between “the gift” and “the market” in political life. [Keywords: Sacrifice, politics, violence, poverty, liberalization]

The Con: A Marikana Too Far

Bhavna Ramji and Philiswa Sithole, The Con

June 2013: The sun shining on Marikana in the North West turns the blood of goats being slaughtered into glinting rivulets of mercury. We’re at a government-sponsored mass traditional ritual performed by the 44 families that lost loved ones at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine during an unprotected strike in August 2012. The intention of the slaughter is to cleanse the area where people were killed of evil spirits.

Family members collect in pockets in front of the koppie where miners had gathered to demand a monthly increase to R12 500. Male elders slit the throats of the goats. The practised art of skinning and disembowelling the animal before charring the meat is under way.

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