Poverty led to Lonmin deaths: ANC
Tuesday 21 August 2012 12:41
The ANC attributes the massacre to poverty(SABC)
Inequality and poverty was to blame for the death of 34 people at the Lonmin mine in Marikana, the ANC in Limpopo said today.
“The inequality gaps and extreme levels of poverty leading to the kind of socio-economic desperation experienced by large portions of our population on a daily basis is the underlying reason,” provincial spokesman, Makonde Mathivha said in a statement.
“Clear, unambiguous steps need to be taken by leaders, both in government and the private sector, to vigorously pursue economic transformation at an unparalleled pace if a repeat of this kind of senseless massacre is to be avoided,” added Mathivha.
Last Thursday, police opened fire on protesters, leaving 34 dead and 78 injured.
Mathivha said socio-economic problems will never be resolved through heavily armed police.
“We join loved ones and dependants of the deceased in saluting their lives to the struggle to realise economic emancipation for hardworking, impoverished communities in South Africa,” he said.
“Our societal structures continue to be caught up with violence”
The International Centre of Non-violence (Icon) today, called for national dialogue on how to end violence in South Africa.
“Our societal structures continue to be caught up with violence,” Icon director, Crispen Hemson said in a statement.
Hemson says political action has consisted too much on identifying one or other groups as the enemy.
Hemson added that South Africa had failed to develop a political and civic culture that valued the lives of all in the society.
“South Africa can now no longer ignore the terrible problem with which we still live. We know that achieving the end of violence is a long task, but, as South Africans, we have taken on long tasks before,” said Hemson.
Parliament to debate Lonmin crisis
Tuesday 21 August 2012 11:17
National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu has called the special debate. (SABC)
Parliament will today hold a special debate on last week’s conflict between Lonmin platinum mineworkers in Marikana, North West. Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa will address the National Assembly on the violent protest action in which a total of 44 people were killed.
Parliament’s spokesperson Luzuko Jacobs says National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu has called the special debate.
Jacobs says the special debate follows a request from Mthethwa and various political parties in parliament. “This will provide a platform for the National Assembly to express on behalf of the nation it’s condolences to the bereaved families and the injured mineworkers,” adds Jacobs.
DA Chief Whip Wattie Watson says such a debate is necessary to get to the bottom of the shootings. “Many questions arise, why did the police use life ammunition, why weren’t they properly instructed, who told them to shoot, and why has this been brewing all along,” says Watson.
Mthethwa will give an opening statement during the two hour debate.
Some striking workers say they are fearful and suspicions of management’s intensions in its issuing of an ultimatum
Meanwhile Head of the inter-ministerial committee, Collins Chabane, says they hope to get a proper assessment of the situation at the mine today. He says the situation is volatile and they don’t want the violence to spread to other mines.
Chabane says in their meeting with mine management yesterday, the committee expressed its concern on the ultimatum. Some striking workers say they are fearful and suspicions of management’s intensions in its issuing of an ultimatum. They are refusing to return to work saying they will only do so after their demand for a R12 500 salary is met.
Yesterday management issued an ultimatum compelling them to return to work this morning or face dismissal.
The special sitting with be broadcast live on SABC2 and streamed live on http://www.sabc.co.za/news.