Marikana charge is ludicrous

Logic without a pinch of common  sense is a lot like drinking alcohol on an empty stomach. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

Logic without a pinch of common sense is a lot like drinking alcohol on an empty stomach. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

The decision to charge the Marikana miners with murder was based on the same logic that was used to convict taxi-driver Jacob Humphries of murder.

Namely, that the miners, in arming themselves with knobkerries and pangas, should have forseen that their actions could give rise to a situation in which a loss of life could occur. The fact that none of the miners specifically intended to kill anyone is irrelevant.

Fortunately, the logic underpinning this position is exposed as distinctly primitive and shabby when one notes that, by logical extension, a miner wounded by the police could find himself being charged – alongside his fellow conspirators – with attempting to murder himself.

This is indeed every bit as ludicrous as it sounds, but not appreciably more so than arguing that the miners are liable for what the police did to their comrades.

Logic without a pinch of common  sense is a lot like drinking alcohol on an empty stomach.

It tends to quickly overwhelm our judgment. &ndash; <em>Terence Grant, Cape Town.</em>

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