Marikana mineworkers not wavering from wage demands
Saturday 1 September 2012 16:44
Mineworkers of the Lonmin Platinum Mine sit on a hill top during violent confrontations that claimed 34 lives – archive picture (SABC)
Marikana mineworkers attending the funerals of fellow mineworkers who died in the Lonmin Paltinum Mine shootings in the North West have vowed not to give up on their demands to earn a monthly wage of R12 500.
There have been several funerals in the Eastern Cape, where most of the 34 who died in confrontations with police on August 16 are from.
Inter-Ministerial Committee members led by Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane have attended a funeral in Lusikisiki. Chabane reiterated that a judicial commission of inquiry into the incident would issue its findings in four months’ time.
Meanwhile, earlier today, deputy minister of Minerals and Energy, Godfrey Oliphant said government is working hard to persuade mining companies to improve working and living conditions of employees.
Oliphant was addressing a funeral service for one of the 34 Marika Lonmin victims who died during clashes with police two weeks ago. Sixty-year-old Modisaotsile Sagalala was buried at Setlagole village outside Mahikeng.
“There is no strike that cannot end, the strike will end. The brutality that we have seen from all those who were involved, we are waiting for the report from the commission that the president established to give us all the facts around all these. We don’t want this to be repeated, so we should see an end to this, so that our society turns back to normality,” Oliphant said.
Socio-economic realities testing ANC leaders: Phosa
Saturday 1 September 2012 15:20
ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa today spoke at the party’s centenary torch handing over in Hartswater.(SABC)
The ANC’s leadership was being tested by socio-economic realities, the ruling party’s treasurer general Mathews Phosa said today.
“Out of the whole Marikana saga we should be asking ourselves a simple question ‘why have the workers lost faith in the legitimate authorities?” Phosa said in a speech.
“Let us, as leaders, not seek the glory inherent in accentuating our differences, but rather seek the quiet triumph of building safe bridges over our differences.” Phosa said despite this the party could not ignore that it was celebrating a century of achievement.
He was talking at the handing over the African National Congress’ centenary torch in Hartswater in the Northern Cape today. Phosa said charging the mineworkers when a commission of inquiry was looking into the matter was reckless and absurd.
On August 16, police opened fire on striking workers gathered on a hill near Lonmin’s Marikana mine, in North West, killing 34 of them and wounding 78. A group of 270 miners were arrested and charged with public violence.
We don’t need another Marikana. We need cool heads to prevail
On Thursday, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) announced they would also face murder and attempted murder charges for the deaths of their colleagues. The NPA’s contentious decision was questioned on Friday.
Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said he would seek clarity on the reasons for the move, while legal experts and political parties roundly condemned the decision.
Phosa said the consequences of charging the miners at this time was “too ghastly to contemplate, we don’t need another Marikana. We need cool heads to prevail.”
South Africa urgently needed to move towards civilian control of the police service as envisaged by the Convention for a Democratic SA. Phosa said the ANC had reached its political destiny.
“We are in control of our present and of our future. We are in a position to shape our environment in such a way that no one can ever say that ours was a flame that burnt in vain,” he said,
It was the ANC’s job to keep the flame burning for its children and their children who could benefit from the party’s efforts.
“To do that we must utilise the power in our hands, the power of government, to change lives, and create hope, wealth and jobs,” said Phosa.
It was Phosa’s 60th birthday today.