Democratic Left Front
the 16th August 2012, post apartheid democracy lurched into a horror.
It was estimated 34 mineworkers at the Lonmin Mine in the North West
province were brutally gunned down by police and in total over 70
workers have been injured. The death toll at this stage is still not
completely verified, with the community still reporting loved ones
missing and not accounted for in official body counts.
DLF has been providing solidarity to the Marikana workers and
community over the past few days and has actively supported a public
meeting with the Marikana workers held at the University of
Johannesburg last night. We have not produced an earlier statement
because we wanted to be clear on the mineworkers’ own account of
eye witness accounts and academic assessments, provided at the public
meeting, all the evidence of police action points to pre-mediated and
orchestrated state violence. A day after the Provincial Police
Commissioner stated that they will end the strike, workers were
herded towards a barbed wire exit with tear gas and rubber bullets
then gunned down as they tried to make their way through a narrow
opening. Moreover, other workers were randomly shot in other parts,
in and around ‘Horror Mountain’, and some were run down with
police Caspirs. The DLF believes the state at its highest levels has
a case to answer for the cold-blooded murder of the Lonmin
condemn the management of Lonmin for their refusal to negotiate with
the striking mineworkers and believe that they also have a case to
answer for their complicity in the massacre. We note that BEE figures
such as Cyril Ramaphosa also have a financial stake in Lonmin.
Marikana massacre was a barbaric act of planned state violence. It is
also unfortunate that South Africa’s media is not reporting in an
all rounded manner about the massacre and what happened. The call by
the City Press for the National Intelligence Agency to investigate
the strike action is an attempt by the media to securitise legitimate
and constitutionally guaranteed strike action. We reject this kind of
the Marikana massacre merely illustrates an invisible and localised
trend of ANC-police orchestrated violence against communities giving
voice to their legitimate concerns about corruption, lack of service
delivery and wanting democratisation of ward communities.
Marikana is the most visible expression of a low intensity war by the
ANC state against the working class. South Africa in the lives of the
poor has became a nightmare of state authoritarianism.
the ANC government’s call for a week of mourning, the Marikana
massacre has garnered national and global sympathy for the mine
workers. The ghastly and painful visual images of the massacre
mobilised public opinion in support of the victims of this tragedy.
We welcome all statements and acts of solidarity such as those by the
Labour Party of Pakistan and workers in Oakland, California. We
encourage progressives in the world to actively demonstrate their
solidarity as they have done outside South African embassies in
Spain, New Zealand and Ireland thus far.
DLF fully supports the concerns raised by the Marikana workers and
community about the potential partiality of the state announced
commission of enquiry. Together with the workers and community we
believe this would be a scapegoating exercise, without full
transparency, and will protect the political forces in the state
responsible for this heinous deed.
with the Marikana workers and community we have agreed on the
following to support the ongoing strike action and struggle for
29th to be a national and international day of solidarity with the
give solidarity to workers in the platinum industry willing to
advance solidarity strike action and a general strike;
call for an independent peoples commission of enquiry to provide a
basis for testimony and witness to be documented. A people’s truth
has to prevail about what happened rather than an official state
discussions with the Marikana workers and community on how to deepen
DLF supports the mineworkers’ demand for a basic wage increase from
R4000 to R12,500 for the dangerous work that they do underground, and
calls on the profit-rich platinum industry to extend this to all
also call on the unemployed not to undermine the strike of the
workers by working as scab labour and to stand in solidarity with
the DLF fully supports the charges of murder laid by the Marikana
workers against the South African Police Services.
also demand the immediate release of all mineworkers being held in
police custody and for all charges to be dropped. This is punitive
in the light of the state’s announcement of a so called Commission
DLF believes the Marikana massacre is a defining moment for our
democracy and underlines the importance of reclaiming our democracy
from below. Like the 1946 mine workers strike, Marikana opens a new
period of struggle for a post-national liberation and
post-neoliberal South Africa. Like the Marikana workers we believe a
post-apartheid labour market and another South Africa is
Now for the Marikana Workers and Communities!
with the Striking Mine Workers!
live the memory of the Marikana Martyrs!
Out Now! Defend Democracy from below!
Jara – 083 651 0271
Ashley – 082 085 7088
Satgar – 082 775 3420