“The issues at Marikana are overflowing. It’s quite clear that this wave of new developments on the platinum mines is coming down on us at the gold mines.” Protests have been reported at Royal Bafokeng’s Rasimone platinum mine, Anglo American Platinum’s Thembelani mine, Eastern Platinum’s Crocodile River mine and Gold Fields’ Kloof Driefontein Complex gold mine, Motau added.A group of civil society organisations – including Amnesty International, the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, Section 27 and the Marikana Solidarity Campaign – described the Marikana massacre as “a defining moment in our history and cannot be allowed to pass without establishing the full truth, ensuring justice and providing redress for the victims and their families.” It added: “We are outraged by the emerging evidence of targeted killings at Marikana. The Marikana massacre and the subsequent callous responses of both Lonmin and several representatives of the state violate the very spirit of our constitution.”

Four miners shot at Modder East goldmine in South Africa

Fears of violent unrest spreading in the mining industry grow after a police shooting left four workers in hospital

Miners' funeral

Mourners at the funeral of one of 34 striking miners shot dead by police two weeks ago. Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

Fears over violent unrest spreading in South Africa‘s mining industry grew on Monday after a police shooting at a gold mine left four workers in hospital, including one critically injured.

The incident came as the first group of miners was released from custody following the Lonmin platinum mine massacre, in which police gunned down 34 of their colleagues.

Rubber bullets and tear gas were used against about 60 mineworkers at the Gold One mine at Modder East near Johannesburg. Police said they were trying to disperse a group of about 200 sacked mineworkers who were attacking reinstated colleagues.

Gold One said an illegal blockade began at around 6.30am, preventing about half of its employees from returning to work. “The group did not present any memorandum of demands,” a spokesman said. “The group blocked all access in and out of the mine and threw stones at vehicles attempting to gain access to the operations.

“The South African Police Service (SAPS) addressed the group extensively, informing them that the gathering was illegal and requesting them to disperse. The group refused. At approximately 11.30am the SAPS had to use teargas and rubber bullets to disperse the group. Access to the Modder East Operations has since been re-established.”

Captain Pinky Tsinyane, a police spokeswoman, said four people had been taken to hospital, one of whom was critically injured.

As South Africa still comes to terms with what has been described as the lowest point since the end of racial apartheid, anxiety over contagion in the mining sector has been compounded by a wildcat strike by 12,500 miners at Gold Fields’ Kloof Driefontein Complex gold mine.

Frans Baleni, general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers, told South Africa’s Business Day newspaper::[http://www.bdlive.co.za/business/mining/2012/09/03/platinum-mine-revolt-shifting-to-gold-sector] “The issues at Marikana are overflowing. It’s quite clear that this wave of new developments on the platinum mines is coming down on us at the gold mines.”

Opposition accused the government of failing to tackle the wider crisis. Sej Motau, shadow labour minister for the Democratic Alliance, said: “Labour unrest has been spreading across the mining sector following the tragedy at Lonmin’s Marikana mine.”

Protests have been reported at Royal Bafokeng’s Rasimone platinum mine, Anglo American Platinum’s Thembelani mine, Eastern Platinum’s Crocodile River mine and Gold Fields’ Kloof Driefontein Complex gold mine, Motau added.

“By focusing all her efforts on establishing a peace accord at Lonmin’s Marikana mine, the minister [Mildred Oliphant] is simply reacting to the most immediate symptoms of an underlying dysfunctional labour regime.”

As the government, unions and British-owned Lonmin resumed talks on the “peace accord”, the first group of 42 miners was released after the dropping of fiercely controversial murder charges against them. The jubilant men, released on warning with no need for bail, sang apartheid-era struggle songs and said they were eager to get home to their families.

The workers were among 270 arrested for public violence last month after the police opened fire on a group of protesters, killing 34 of them and wounding 78.

Debate over what happened on the day of the massacre continues to rage. Greg Marinovich, a Pulitzer prize-winning photojournalist, has published an investigation suggesting that 14 workers died some 300m away from the main site of the bloodshed. Some appeared to have been shot at close range, he argues.

“It is becoming clear to this reporter that heavily armed police hunted down and killed the miners in cold blood,” he wrote on the Daily Maverick.website.[http://dailymaverick.co.za/article/2012-08-30-the-murder-fields-of-marikana-the-cold-murder-fields-of-marikana] “A minority were killed in the filmed event where police claim they acted in self-defence. The rest was murder on a massive scale.”

In another report published on Monday, Marinovich claimed that individuals close to various arms of the official investigation have approached the Daily Maverick, verifying the main thrust of his argument.

Police are also facing allegations that arrested miners were tortured in custody. On Monday officials announced that a preliminary report from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate had been handed to police minister Nathi Mthethwa.

“Government is concerned about allegations of torture and ill-treatment of detainees arrested in connection with the Marikana incident,” said Collins Chabane, minister in the presidency.

“The investigation is ongoing and the minister will receive a final report with recommendations as soon as it is finalised. The minister has accordingly assured the public that should the investigation point out to any violation of the detainees by any police officer; the full might of the law will take its course.”

Chabane, who chairs the inter-ministerial committee dealing with the aftermath of the Marikana massacre, also sought to reassure foreign investors that South Africa is not in disarray.

“The tragic incident at Marikana is not a reflection of the business environment in South Africa,” he said. “Government remains in control of the situation and law and order continues to prevail.”

A group of civil society organisations – including Amnesty International, the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, Section 27 and the Marikana Solidarity Campaign – described the Marikana massacre as “a defining moment in our history and cannot be allowed to pass without establishing the full truth, ensuring justice and providing redress for the victims and their families.”

It added: “We are outraged by the emerging evidence of targeted killings at Marikana. The Marikana massacre and the subsequent callous responses of both Lonmin and several representatives of the state violate the very spirit of our constitution.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/03/four-miners-shot-south-africa

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About ottwf

The capitalistic and imperialistic system and its systematic aims: profit and power over others, still dominates our world and not the aims of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as 1948 agreed! After the world-economic-crisis after 1929 and the following World-War the world hat decided with agreeing the Universal Declaration of Human rights, to create a new world order; conflicts should be solved with peaceful means, not nations and their power, but the dignity of human beings around the world should be the aim of the policies and the economy, of every state and the community of states. But soon after the end of the war, when the victims and destruction were forgotten, all continued as before, with all risks, we had seen before. The split in rich an poor is getting bigger and bigger. We also overuse our global environment already, even if the big majority of mankind still lives in poverty! We are not victims, this world is men-made and be changed from men and women! It will be possible, if those, who do not want or serve (because of system-pressure) profits first, but want for themselves and everybody a life in human dignity unite and develop in a global base-democratic movement a common vision for our world, and learn, how to make this vision real. We need for it a big empowerment of many, many common men and women and their activities. Our chances are because of new communication technologies, of common languages, of the level of education and the mixture of people from different backgrounds better then ever. The occupy-movement is a good start for such a global movement. We support it and try to contribute to its success! We choose news and make comments and so try to unite people for an Occupy-Think-Tank: Its tasks: creating a news-network, self-education, working on global-reform programs and learning to organize projects for those, who are suffering. Join us, so that we can build teams for these aims for all subjects and countries as a base for the unification. We have Wan(n)Fried(en) in our name, because it means When peace and it is a modification of the name of the town our base is, in Wanfried, a small town in the middle of Germany, where we can use a former factory for our activities. Our telefon: 0049-5655-924981, mobil: 0171-9132149, email: occupy-think-tank@gmx.de
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