Do something about violence! 15

Before posting the blog I took a few minutes to think about the heading.  I did not want it to sign negative.  Being negative will not help to solve a problem.  So I decided on the heading: Do something about violence, because that can give us hope … we can DO something!


The cover page of Die Burger with a photo of policemen and the bodies of the mine workers takes up half of the page.

Violence, violence, violence… President Zuma responded after yesterday’s shootings that there is enough space in our democracy to solve conflict without violence.  How are we going to change the nature of so many people to use violence to get what they want?

Violence is defined by the World Health Organization as “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against a person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, mal-development or deprivation”. An act is committed, irrespective of the outcome of the procedures.

According to Wikepedia globally violence takes the lives of more than 1.5 million people annually.  This figure includes homicide, suicide, war and other forms of conflict. Violence often has lifelong consequences for victim’s physical and mental health and social functioning.  It can also slow down economic and social development.

The positive side is that violence is preventable. Social matters like misuse of alcohol and the absence of safe and nurturing relationships between children and adults are some of the main causes for violence. It is not speculation that violence is preventable.  Scientific research was done.  Now is the time to seriously address this matter on all levels … national & local government, schools, churches, communities … everybody.  We must stop being depressed and talk about it.  This is a challenge to all Skills Universe members … what are you going to do?

(Based on information retrieved from the internet)


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15 thoughts on “Do something about violence!

  • Wilma de Villiers Post author

    I was shocked when I saw the photo in THE ARGUS of the men that were ‘necklaced’, begging for their lives and in the background is a child – don’t think he is older than 4.  How can any adult allow a child to witness a scene like this?  Des mentioned that we are suppose to live in a civilized society, but how civilize are the adults that were a part of that scene?

  • Pieter Staal

    To answer the question posed – (as I haven’t read any comments that do) – what I do is I talk continuously to employers and employees, to children and youth, to adults.  I make a point of discussing current affairs without focusing on BLAME – from what I have read here too many are blaming, are wanting research etc etc – the answers are right in front of us. I look for solutions from within.  Like the one member said – be the change, make it happen – doesn’t matter how, just do it and as Wilma has said/asked – stop the negativity….. this is what I do what do you do?

  • Sylvia F. Hammond

    Jacqui, thanks for that – so someone is not providing us with the full picture.  Questions: Are some of the rock drillers permanent employees on benefits and some temporary (possibly from a labour broker) and/or on different conditions?  Is there a standard going rate for rock drillers amongst all the platinum miners in the area?  Why are the striking rock drillers giving the R4,000 figure – are there deductions (other then UIF, tax and union deductions) that we are not aware of that reduce their take-home pay?  

  • Wilma de Villiers Post author

    Christopher, I agree that we must deal with violence, but when are we going to deal with the social issues? We teach our students that you must start with the reason for the behaviour and then only will you be able to solve the problem.  When the child is doing something wrong and you put him in time out (as punishment) every time  and you don’t e.g. know that the child has a hearing problem and that is why he is not responding to what you ask him to do … how will you ever be able to solve the ‘problem’?  Maybe not a good example, but what I am trying to say is not that we must ignore the violence, but that we must start doing something positive.

    All the discussions are very interesting, but as Sylvia also mentioned, why don’t we as skills-universe members answer the question: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

  • Christopher Sharpe

    Let’s be careful about phrases such as “Social matters like misuse of alcohol and the absence of safe and nurturing relationships between children and adults are some of the main causes for violence.” These factors, and many others, undeniably predispose people to behave violently. But violence happens when someone picks up a weapon, (including a fist or a foot) and uses it to intimidate, threaten or injure another. We clearly have to deal with the underlying social issues, but that will take time. Right now we must deal with violence at incident level swiftly and effectively; zero tolerance. 

  • Sylvia F. Hammond

    Hi Des, my use of the word shack describes the physical structure I observed on TV.  5 sides of corrugated iron: 4 walls and a roof. 

    Jacqui, I agree with you about we need far more in-depth research.  Starting with who was/is there?  Are they employed? By whom? Just doing some superficial researching via the web – from what I have established to date this is far more complex than any of the news reports suggest.  There are human resource management and industrial relations aspects, there are economic and political aspects, also globalisation and unionisation aspects.  

    But to come back to your question for skills-universe members – how do we stop violence?   

  • Des Squire

    is there adifference between a shack and an informal settlement? Those living in shacks are squatters and those living in informal settlements are legal. Squatters should be removed as they are illegal.

    As for salaries the rang of those on strike is between R4000 and R10000.

    The strike is illegal – Fact.

    The brandishing of weapons is illegal – Fact. 

    The attack on the police judging from the hail of bullets hitting the ground in front of the police was illegal – Fact.

    It is illegal to carry wepons legal or illegal to a place of work – Fact

    The hacking to death of two policemen the previoous day was illegal – Fact. 

    The 34 additional deaths as a result of all of the above could have been avoided if those involeved behaved like human beings – Fact.

    I believe the time for adults to behave as adults has come. Adults take responsibiulity for their actions, are accountable and must accept the consequences of their actions.

    We are suppose to be living in a civilised society – are we????    

  • Dr Jacqueline Baumgardt (Jax)

    @Sylvia. Thanks for your comment. Facts are that some people may be living in shacks – is this a choice? Do they perhaps spend their housing allowance on something else? It would make for interesting research. 

  • Sylvia F. Hammond

    Thanks to everyone for your comments – my thoughts are that our Constitution has at its base human  dignity.  Clive Thompson recently gave a lecture on trust and respect at the workplace.  If we’re honest with ourselves, I think we will be able to find many examples where none of these factors exist.  We don’t seem to have developed any value or respect for human life – also evident in our violent crime record.  I would suggest that we won’t succeed in reducing violent behaviour until we can develop a respect for human life.

    I’m also interested in the facts and the question of how much pay is received.  Sky News journalist Alex Crawford – award winner for her reporting on Libya – entered a shack of one of the men demonstrating – it was without electricity, running water or sanitation and apparently a number of people lived there.  So that doesn’t seem to square up with the package of housing allowance and benefits.


  • Dr Jacqueline Baumgardt (Jax)

    Duduzile, R4000 is a little, I agree, but cost to company is actually R9500 according to reports – they have medical aid, housing allowances, pension funds and bonuses included in this amount. That’s R5500 that they do not mention in their claims. People need to tell the whole truth otherwise reality becomes distorted. 

  • Walter Donaldson

    I tend to agree with Jacqui on this. Many union leaders are exploiting situations and not willing to the negotiation table. Why can we not strike in a civilised manner without massage aggression, volatility, rampaging through towns and lately, attacking police with sticks, pangas and other dangerous weapons. I’m sure the police were just as scared as the protesters.

    Where were the so-called ‘union leaders’ when this took place? Are they also the inflicted or are they the dudes in the big houses, impeccable clothing, driving the expensive cars?


    Stike if you need to, refrain from violence, get round the negotiating table and sort it out!    

  • Kathirgamathamby Yogeswaran

    Gandhi said something similar to: “there is enough in the planet for everyone’s need”, but this will be not enough for even a single person’s wants, because wants and greed has no end. It is not only corporate greed for maximizing (as against, optimizing / or sustaining) profit, but it is also the struggle for power at all levels of society and politics. We need an education revolution for knowledge (knowledge for the sake of knowledge –enlightenment) that can help the country to deal with the issue of state formation and civic formation from the bottom-up. Mother Theresa said: “If you are hungry for peace in the world, go and love your family”. It is simple as that. All starts at home. Be the chance that you want to see in others. Every citizen has the duty to build this nation from the bottom-up.


  • Dr Jacqueline Baumgardt (Jax)

    First of all, everyone should stop blaming the police and perhaps support them more. Secondly in situations like this when the “community” is armed to the teeth, send in the army. Thirdly hold the instigators accountable. Fourthly stop the “greed and power grab” which is really what this is all about. Personally, I speak out at every opportunity and spend much time praying.

  • Nozipho Gloria Sithole

    This really scared me, i was born in 1976, so i was not actually active when the riots were going on, i was there in the 80’s but i was a kid, so my first reaction is not always fight, i am a person of prayer, i will pray that hate will not be what we are known for, that revenge and unforgiveness do not become a legacy, i will leave for my unborn children, this country has so much potential to be violence free, by we blame too much, so we never give ourselves a chance to work through things, i would love to see our leaders shouldering the responsibility for this massacre, even though it was just the police, until our leaders realise that they need to take responsibility, everyone, and i would love to hear someone apologise to the families who lost loved ones, publicly, on TV, and say we are sorry, this is not the answer, and we should have knon better, there is something healing in a heartfelt apology, that will be my contribution, prayer that our leaders see this as an opportunity to step up and own mistakes and apologise, and make it right by acknowledging that that this shouldnt have happened and we as a country should work together to make sure it doesnt happen again.