10/04/2013 by socialistfight
(1) Set up and international non-State Inquiry into the massacre. This must establish what the State President knew about the planed shooting before it occurred. End harassment of witnesses to the current Inquiry
(2) Sack the Minister for Police and the Commissioner for Police and the Prosecutor who brought the ‘common purpose’ charges.
(3) Charge responsible senior police officer & minister with murder
(4) Release all Jailed Miners and Drop All Charges
(5) Justice and compensation for the families of those killed and injured
(6) End Police Violence in South Africa. No more tear gas and rubber bullets for those who produce all the country’s wealth.
(7) Put LONMIN CEO on trial for theft of National Resources
(8) Nationalise (without compensation/expropriate) the mines.
Sign on-line petition at: http://www.ipetitions.com/my/account
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SUPPORT THE PICKET AT SOUTH AFRICA
HOUSE, LONDON – EVERY THURSDAY 5-7PMOn the 16th August 2012 miners at the Marikana Mine, Azania (South Africa) on strike for higher wages were corralled into a razor wired space, and armoured vehicles brought up. The South Afrikan police (SAPS) then fired on the miners, using live rounds from automatic pistols, powerful shotguns and assault rifles. 34 were killed instantly and 78 seriously injured: the death toll has since risen. There is evidence that many miners were shot in the back and on the ground. A police ‘moping-up’ operation was carried out using horses and helicopter/s. Medical help was denied for one and half hours.
The rulers of South Afrika were teaching working people a lesson: that opposing the status quo – even by demanding higher wages – involves the risk of death. These murders confirm the ruling Alliance as a neo-colonial clique in league with and doing the brutal bidding of international capital.
The UK is a willing party to this massacre, given Britain’s major long-term role in the shameless rip-off of Southern Afrikan minerals and precious metals. The Marikana Mine is owned by LONMIN, the UK-based (with Chinese capital) – former LONROW once led by the late notorious Tiny Rowland. LONMIN worked closely with the South Afrikan police in disturbing ways before and after the massacre.
The neo-colonial South Afrikan ANC regime is also acting in the interest of South Afrika’s new internal oppressor class – created by the Black/African Empowerment programme. This class includes well known ANC, NUM and COSATU individuals as well as members of the Mandela Family. Cyril Ramaphosa – key to this group – has since become State Vice President to Zuma.
The state prosecutors dared to charge 270 arrested and brutalized miners with the Apartheid-era “common purpose” murder of those the state itself had gunned down in front of the world’s media. Those charges are now ‘suspended’ pending the outcome of a Zuma-created Inquiry. Arrests and intimidation of miners, their families and inquiry witnesses continue. That Inquiry carries no credibility. Government minister and others (Mines Minister Susan Shabangu, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant, State President Zuma himself) tried to demonise striking and murdered miners; to co-opt the deaths into traditional South Afrikan mourning rituals; to designate the death a ‘tragedy’ rather than the repressive act for which they bear full responsibility.
Meanwhile, gatherings of more than six/6 people need police permission. And how dare a state led by Jacob Zuma (declared by a judge on the basis of evidence to be involved in a deeply corrupt dealings) bring charges of corruption against Julius Malema who is vocally opposing neo-colonialism. The ANC state is also using violence against so called squatters – actually land-seekers – and other oppressed groups. South Afrika combines great wealth with shocking inequality: the richest 10% account for almost half of the nation’s consumption, and a quarter of the population lives on less than $2 a day. A quarter of the labour force is unemployed.
The resistance of the South Afrikan working people is rising: driven by demands for land (84% of S. Afrikan Land remains in the hands of 12% of the population) and a living wage. The objective must be for Afrikan workers to “Repossess what’s rightfully theirs.”
The failure of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) to fight for its members has led to the creation of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) committed to class and social struggle. The AMCU, representing most of the LONMIN strikers (and those killed), accused police of the massacre while the NUM and COSATU defended the police action, and tried to organize a return to work on 17th August, the day after the massacre.
Some Marikana miners accepted pay rises (between 9% to 22%) and have returned to work. But this is not victory, just minor high cost success on the bitter road to justice. The struggle continues: millions are striking and engaged in other forms of resistance with mass sackings the main tool of worker intimidation in use by LONMIN and other capitalist firms.