Picking up where they had left off a few moments ago, Monica crossed
her arms. I think the issue goes deeper than just striking miners getting shot,
Javier looked at her puzzled. What do you mean?
Its very clear to me, Monic
meant they had to use force. Even better if they could shoot a few people.
Reinforces their notion that the ANC has to step in, because mine management
is unable to control the situation.
Noooo, Javier shook his head impatiently. Your conspiracy theory is
fridge. Perching on the edge of a kitchen chair, she crunched her breakfast
slowly, swallowing deliberately, not knowing when she would get her next meal.
Usually it got so hectic during the day that she didnt have time to grab a bite for
downsize and she could lose her job in the process.
Sybil had hesitated for a few months, but every so often, she had eyed
the Mazda MX5 on the Internet. When she saw one standing at a dealership in
dark blue, she had given up her internal fight and had t
again. He had tried to call her a few times, but she had been resolute. She
didnt need this kind of aggravation in her life. Life was too short to have to deal
with an egotistical maniac.
However, sometimes Sybil would remember the good times they had
respective seats. The last person to walk into the room was the Managing
Partner, Paul Keanan, a distinguished tall man with thick grey hair, dressed in
an impeccably double-breasted tailored suit. Half-focals perched on his straight
nose, emphasising his
reliable, always ready to give good advice; a really great friend. So what if she
didnt like to smile twenty-four hours a day?
Sybil made her way to the last person in the group. Reaching out she
placed her hand on the newspaper Javier had spread across h
Yes, I did hear that, Javier conceded. But it still doesnt give the cops
permission to shoot.
If they hadnt broken the agreement and if they hadnt gone on a wild
strike, nothing like this would have ever happened, Sybil replied.
easy to follow, especially in the Marikana dispute: if you want to negotiate, then
send a representative. If you dont get any joy, apply for a strike. If the strike is
granted, go gather and protest. Instead, the workers resorted to a wild strike
Not Matt though?
Monica laughed. No, Matt wont be there. We wont spoil the day for
Sybil let out a long sigh. Thanks. I appreciate it.
Dont worry, Freckles. We know how you feel about him.
Ahh, well .
Have to run, Monica breathed. See you around twel
time, struggling for money and swearing at an unsupportive husband.
Her thoughts turned to Matt, her ex-boyfriend: tall and handsome, with
dark hair, blue eyes and broad shoulders. Everyone had believed that they had
been the perfect couple. Theyd met by
having been a pillar of support during her break up with Matt.
Next to him sat another senior partner, Albert Rawson, head of the
contract division for mergers and acquisitions. He always reminded Sybil of a
dried prune; his wrinkles seemed to grow deeper
and if they dont do it right, it will do the economy more harm than good.
Mark my words, Javier warned. This thing will drag on forever, until its
forgotten. The next disaster will hit South Africa and the people will focus on
that. Marikana will be a tin
understated gold lettering on a plaque mounted on the wall beside the entrance.
Sybil pushed the door open and stepped onto the plush carpet covering the
floor of the foyer. Bright light streamed through large windows behind the
reception desk. A leather
run up, she went back into the corridor on a search for a cup of coffee, which
she found in a small kitchen situated behind the typist pool. She took a mug
from the glass fronted cupboard, poured in freshly made filter coffee and added
milk from the fridg
Sybil nodded her head. She didnt have a counter argument, because
deep down she knew her friends were right. South Africans did have a very
short attention span
Sybils alarm went off at 05h30. She groaned loudly, fumbled for her
cellphone and hit the s
They are cultural weapons, Javier said. They are not there to harm
Rudi raised his hand impatiently. If someone waved a knobkerrie in my
face, I would feel threatened and I would get scared. He stabbed a finger in
believe she was unfaithful when all she was doing was working on her career.
The next morning she waited until Matt had left for work. She phoned the
office and called in sick. Her feeling of guilt was overruled by the decision she
had made the night befo
iPod thrummed with the latest Cold Play song. Soon, the long line of cars
slowed down and Sybil turned left, following the road until she reached the
underpass that ended at the parking lot of Cedar Square.
The lot was filled to the brim - no wonder, with
because they pulled on your heartstrings and you fell for it.
Javier pursed his lips considering Sybils explanation. A moment later he
shook his head. It might well be possible, but the fact remains that the white fat
cats are exploiting the workers.
Hi there, she returned the smile, freeing herself to greet the others.
She leaned to the side and planted a kiss on Franks shaven dark head.
Hello stranger. Good to see you.
Frank wiped his hand over the top of his head. You still kiss wet, he
A Sly Devil? the waitress asked.
Sybil confirmed her order with a nod and handed the menu back to the
The waitress looked expectantly at the other occupants of the table.
Monica wiggled her fingers. Make it another round of the same for every
Sybil navigated the back roads, but as she had expected, as soon as she
hit Jan Smuts Avenue, the traffic slowed down dramatically. Cars literally inched
down the two-lane wide avenue, and Sybil knew traffic would not let up until she
to the glass door entrance. Swiping her card at the turnstile, she turned right
into the huge main gym area, passing the free weight section before stopping at
the bicycles positioned before a large glass window overlooking the parking lot.
She put her ke
Another issue was that government had promised alternative roads for
those motorists choosing not to use highways. Unfortunately it had been an
empty promise. The highways had been upgraded but no other roads had been
built. That meant, people who had to
Before we all get back to what we do best, I have one final
announcement, Keanan continued.
Heads tilted to the side, eyebrows rose, and people paid renewed
As you all know, we have a special relationship with the Human Rights
What are you talking about? Theres film footage that evidently shows
how the cops ran after them. One man said he was lying on his stomach on the
ground and he saw the cops running past him, firing bullets into the workers
Sybil shook her head. I w
all of a sudden, it wasnt good enough any longer. Matt wanted cooked food, but
had not been willing to make it himself. He expected her to stand in the kitchen.
Her refusal caused huge rows, with him telling her that it was a womans job to
cook and Sybil
was waiting to hear about.
You must all be wondering if we have been asked to get involved in the
Lonmin case or even preside over the Marikana commission, Keanan said.
The room held its breath collectively, waiting in anticipation for his next
Ok, please bring us a hubbly-bubbly with cherry flavour, he ordered.
With a smile, the waitress turned on her heel and made her way past the
Javier rustled his newspaper impatiently. He couldnt leave the Marikana
subject alone. I dont believe the