Caribbean Labour Solidarity
Caribbean Labour Solidarity
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Marikana Update

As Mandela’s body was flown home to the Eastern Cape spare a thought for those other bodies that were flown back to the Cape last year – the victims of the Marikana Massacre. Most of them came from this part of the country, where traditionally young men leave to seek work in the mines further north.

The Commission looking into those events continues. The Commission is now due to end in April 2014, but even that is looking increasingly unlikely.

Things have changed considerably over the last three months. The police were found to be hiding their computer hard drive and the damning documents it contained. So now we know that in a meeting two days before the massacre the police and Lonmin discussed ending the strike – ‘killing’ it was their unfortunate and prophetic turn of phrase. They discussed how Cyril Ramaphosa was applying pressure (the same Cyril who tried desperately to stop the booing of President Zuma at Mandela’s memorial.) He was a director of Lonmin and his company is a major shareholder. We now know the police ordered up mortuary vans on the morning of the massacre. And that many of those who died were shot in the head or in the back. Ambulances were not allowed through to attend to the injured for over an hour. The police in charge hear nothing and see nothing, and say nothing at the Commission.

Rehad Desai has been making a film about the events that led to the massacre. Miners Shot Down will be released early next year.