Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Striking guards are a disgrace
The violence caused by the striking guards has evaporated any public sympathy and turned a reasonable request into a thuggish demand. Their latest escapades, looting and vandalising property in the centre of Cape Town, as well as attacking journalists, is an absolute embarrassment for our country, and our policing as a whole. Surely, given the actions of striking guards elsewhere in the country, the local police would have pulled in more resources for this march.

However, the greatest scorn must be poured on the striking guards themselves. The irony of the general public having to be protected from those that are supposed to be protectors themselves seems to be lost on them, and government should now step in to mediate. This has simply gone on too long, and now too far, for this to be kept between trade unions and the industry. I am a free-market protagonist, but when public violence starts to enter the fray, it's time for more influential pressure to be brought to bear.

Guards blaming the violence on "skollies" is laughable and pathetic. The amount of damage caused around the entire city centre is the work of much more than a few bad apples, and this must have been foreseen.

I hope Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich spends his night in jail taking a long hard look at the trade union's actions.