It has been another turbulent news week in South Africa. Days after the anniversary of the Marikana massacre, Roodepoort Primary School became the site of the latest questionable police action. It seems as if a lethal cocktail of political interference, bad communication, desperation, poverty and race have resulted in the Roodepoort Primary conflict. Of course, the real losers, on every level, are the schoolchildren – but why should we worry about them? Students have been subject to so much abuse in South Africa in recent years. Now they watch as parents, teachers and authorities battle it out. The old adage “children learn by example” seems, well, unimportant when these battles are being waged. But Roodepoort does show us that Marikana has taught us nothing. By RUSSELL POLLITT.