A European’s illusions about the extraction of natural stone on the African continent

I started to explain to the police what had happened. They listened to me and then listened to the stories of these terrorists. To my surprise the policemen stopped speaking English and switched to Afrikaans. They began chatting with the intruders in a lively, jocular manner. After a long moment, I asked if I wasn’t disturbing them and  what the police thought of solving the situation. I heard an answer that made my hands drop: in their opinion the people from Oukasa had come here to demonstrate peacefully. Annoyed, I asked if peacefully demonstrating meant threatening to burn down the machinery in the mine and threatening to burn down the houses of the workers and killing their children. All I heard in reply was that it was not their problem – we are neighbours and we have to get along with each other. Then, without drawing any consequences for the aggressors, they said they had no more time and left.




We were left with the problem alone. Meeting silly demands was not an option, but we had to come to some sort of agreement. I suggested that they appoint two or three representatives. After a few hours of negotiation, we agreed that by the end of the year I would take on 5 students for training to get their papers and permits as drill and cutting line operators.

The next day we arrived at the mine in the morning. I could see that the workers were afraid to start work and pointed towards Oukasa. There were people sitting on top of the hills watching us. We called their representatives. They replied that most likely not everyone knows that we came to an agreement yesterday and that it will be taken care of right away. This did not convince my workers – until the people watching the quarry from the hills disappear, no one will go to work. Without much hesitation, I got in the car and drove to the top of “Monkey Mountain”. After a while, Thys and Kally from the security team arrived and gave me a revolver, telling me that if any of them moved towards me, I should open fire at once. After a brief exchange of words, not very pleasant on either side, I could see that my men had started to work, the machines had left from under the office and everything returned to normal. A few moments later, the Oukasa observers vanished from the hilltops and work at the quarry returned to normal.

What did this story teach me? It has sure taught me that in such situations you cannot crack and you must not retreat even one step in the face of the blacks, because they can quickly take advantage of this. And perhaps the most important thing: there is no such thing as a no-win situation. Even if at first glance it may seem that there is no solution. TIA!





Source: Kurier kamieniarski

Author: Jacek Kiszkiel | Published: 18.11.2020