Political parties debate the Lonmin massacre
Tuesday 21 August 2012 15:39
34 mineworkers were killed during the Marikana Lonmin mine incident(SABC)
United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa says the possibility of careful planning behind the shooting of Lonmin mineworkers at Marikana, cannot be ruled out.
In his address in Parliament, Holomisa said: “One wonders whether a plan to ambush the workers had not been carefully crafted, because by running towards the exit, the workers seemed to have walked right into a police trap.”
“Sadly, however, Marikana massacre type incidents are here to stay, unless we do away with the deployment of people with no professional police background with senior SAPS levels, command juniors with military training.”
Joining in on the debate, Democratic Alliance (DA) Parliamentary Leader Lindiwe Mazibuko called on Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, leaders of the two unions at Lonmin and the CEO of Lonmin Mine to resign. Mazibuko says the DA is concerned that no one seems to be taking political responsibility for the massacre.
“We need accountability now, the Minister of Police, the secretaries general of Armscor, the National Union of Mineworkers and the CEO of Lonmin should carefully consider their positions and in our view, offer their resignations. Their position is untenable.”
ANC Chief Whip in Parliament, Mathole Motshekga, said the tragedy at the Marikana Lonmin Mine is an example of how cheap labour continues to exist in the mining sector. Motshekga says the tragedy must be seen in the context that the mainstay of the mines was and still is cheap labour, cheap black labour.
According to Motshekga, a typical day at the Lonmin Mine can be characterised as such, “Every single day the drill operators are expected to drill though 30 metres of rock. The tunnel is only 3.3 metres tall.”
Lonmin mine workers prepare for more protests
Sunday 19 August 2012 15:27
Striking Lonmin employees could be dismissed if they fail to heed the final ultimatum.(SABC)
The striking workers at Lonmin mine are preparing for more protests. They’re adamant that they want their wages to be tripled. The platinum producer Lonmin has given the striking workers a final ultimatum to end a wildcat strike by tomorrow or face being fired.
The letter has been extended due to bloody confrontations between police and armed miners on Thursday, which killed 34 striking workers and wounded 78 more. Mine spokesperson, Gillian Findlay says employees could be dismissed if they fail to heed the final ultimatum.
The 258 mineworkers arrested after the violence remain in police cells in Rustenburg and Brits. Some of these workers are in police cells in areas such as Jericho, Bethanie, Mogwase and Marikana, they will appear in court tomorrow.
Among them is Msebenzi Nogwayi, who left home on Wednesday but never returned, his relatives left the hospital with excitement, saying they are relieved he is still alive, other families were called in to the hospital to identify their family members who are in a critical state.
Meanwhile, some of the injured were sent to Pretoria.
Churches have meanwhile held a cleansing ceremony near a hill, where the 34 mineworkers were killed. Pastor Qiqimana of the New Creations Ministry in Wonderkop says the killings must end.
Qiqimana says they will meet the Lonmin management and workers tomorrow to urge them to come up with an agreement to the standoff. He says the church believes the killings could have been avoided in a peaceful manner.
Unlike others, Qiqimana blames the church for failing to preach well to the souls that were stolen in the cruel encounter. The church will visit the families of the killed workers and those injured.
SA to hold memorial services for Lonmin victims
Wednesday 22 August 2012 10:16
Police walk past dead bodies of Lonmin mineworkers in Marikana(REUTERS)
Memorial services will be held tomorrow across the country, including the Eastern Cape, to promote a violence-free society. A memorial service will also be held near Lonmin mine at Marikana where 34 mineworkers were killed during clashes with police.
It is believed that 18 of the 34 mineworkers who were shot dead by police at the Lonmin mine in North West, are from the Eastern Cape. They are from Flagstaff, Lusikisiki, Libode and Ngqeleni.
A number of families around the Transkei region are in mourning following last week’s Marikana tragedy. One family in Libode just outside Mthatha lost two of its members in the incident. The grieving family is now wondering how it is going to bury the two.
Head of the Lonmin inter-ministerial committee, Collins Chabane, says government does not want the services to be politicised.
Chabane says, “Memorial services are going to be held everywhere in the country. Eastern Cape is preparing one and other people who have not received information may put up memorial services, but for us, we have to assist anyone who wants to put up memorial services which will require our participation, but with respect to that, discussions had taken place from the beginning with the churches with everybody because we don’t want these memorial services to be politicised. We want these memorial services to be free of politics, rhetoric. Let people focus on the mourning.”
A Contralesa delegation which visited Marikana is expected to pay a visit to the affected families this week, to give them feedback on its meeting with the mine bosses and other stakeholders.
President Jacob Zuma has declared a seven-day period of national mourning following the clashes. Flags will fly at half mast between August the 20th and the 26th.
Lonmin workers agree to stop hostility towards govt
Wednesday 22 August 2012 12:35
Lonmin mine worker being addressed in Marikana.(SABC)
Striking mine workers have agreed to stop their hostility towards government representatives at Lonmin’s Marikana mine near Rustenburg in the North West.
This follows a meeting with the leadership of mineworkers, by the mayors of both Bojanala district and Rustenburg local municipalities.
The workers have allegedly rejected any government assistance offered by the ministerial task team. The AmamPondo and amaThembu Kings, are also expected to meet with the workers at Marikana later today.
About a thousand mine workers gathered at Wonderkop Informal Settlement, where they were addressed by their leaders. The leaders earlier agreed to co-operate with government representatives, after a meeting with local mayors.
Bojanala District Municipality’s Louis Diremelo says, “We’ve explained to the mine workers, labourers that it is very important to co-operate with the task team, because it is here to find the truth, to find out what exactly happened, because it is important to know what is happening.”
The mine workers say they are not against the task team. They were instead unhappy with the presence of armed police officers, in their midst.
United Democratic Movement
The United Democratic Movement (UDM) is a centre-left, social-democratic, South African political party, formed by a prominent former National Party leader, Roelf Meyer(who has since resigned from the UDM) former African National Congress andhomeland leader, Bantu Holomisa and John Taylor former ANC REC member. It has an anti-separatist, pro-diversity platform; and supports an individualist South Africa with a strong moral sense, in both social and economic senses.