Marikana miners demand action from Zuma
Friday 31 August 2012 18:14
270 Marikana miners were this week charged under the Apartheid era common purpose doctrine(SABC)
Civil society group calls on SA to picket for Marikana miners
Friday 31 August 2012 16:50
At least 34 striking miners were shot dead in a confrontation with police.(SABC)
A civil society group has called on South Africans to protest murder charges laid against 270 Marikana miners. In a surprising move, the National Prosecuting Authority has charged all 270 arrested miners with 34 counts of murder under the common purpose law. Justice Minister Jeff Radebe has demanded an explanation from the National Prosecution Authority.
Democratic Left Front spokesperson Vikwas Satga says the best response is street politics. “We are calling on SA to gather at police stations and ask the police to charge them for murder as well. It’s an important tactic to show the punitive and cynical state move,” Satga said.
The Institute of Security Studies has questioned the credibility of an article suggesting miners in Marikana were shot at close range and driven over by police vehicles. Senior researcher Johan Burger says he finds the story so wild in terms of its accusations and assumptions that it discredits the whole article. Photojournalist Greg Marinovich yesterday claimed that some of the striking workers killed at Lonmin’s platinum mine appeared to have been shot at close range or crushed by Nyala vehicles. On August 16, 34 striking miners were shot dead during a confrontation with police trying to disperse them at the Lonmin mine.
Joseph Mthunjwa says the conduct of the Department of Labour surely must approach the matter objectively
Meanwhile, Labour union AMCU has criticised the Labour Department and the CCMA on how they have conducted negotiations aimed at finding a solution to the Lonmin strike. AMCU claims they were excluded from the last session of talks held in Rustenburg. Talks have since been postponed to Monday. AMCU president Joseph Mthunjwa says the conduct of the Department of Labour surely must approach the matter objectively.
Mines to dominate agenda at Cosatu Congress
Friday 31 August 2012 19:55
Cosatu ays there are big lessons to be learnt from the Lonmin mine tragedy.(SABC)
Cosatu says mines will feature high on the agenda of their Congress in two weeks time. General secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says there are big lessons to be learnt from the Lonmin mine tragedy.
With refference to a decision to charge 270 Lonmin miners with the death of 34 of their colleagues, Vavi said Cosatu has “no doubt” that the saga not only reflects on poverty and unemployment, but also on organisational challenges that the federation will have to deal with. He described the Lonmin tragedy as the lowest point in South Africa’s democracy.
United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa has asked President Jacob Zuma to intervene and both leaders (Vavi and Holomisa) say the murder charges undermines the Commission of Inquiry instituted by Zuma.
Justice Minister Jeff Radebe has requested Acting National Director of Public Prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba to explain the decision to charge 270 arrested Lonmin miners with the deaths of their colleagues.
The detained mine workers’ laywers have written to President Zuma demanding that he intervene and secure their release, or face court action to compel him to do so.
DA has warned that threats by Malema to make mines ungovernable will result in job losses
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance has warned that threats by expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema to make mines ungovernable will result in job losses. Spokesperson James Lorimer says the fact that this may happen over time, in the form of new investments that are not made, does not make it any less certain. He says diminished investment will mean less inflow of new money that mining constantly requires to maintain itself and to grow. There are currently 500 000 people employed in the country’s mining industry.
Malema has vowed to bring about a revolution across South Africa’s mines. He was speaking to workers at the troubled Aurora mine in Grootvlei outside Springs on Gauteng’s East Rand. Malema says all miners must demand a minimum wage of R12 500 as the workers at Lonmin are.
Malema promised to hire lawyers to help workers at Aurora, who have not been paid for three years, engage with the company’s liquidators. Malema says mine bosses can afford to pay mine workers decent wages.