Links, viden og erfaringer fra venstrefløjen, sociale bevægelser og progressive grupper


23. AUGUST 2012 – 20:40

Massakren på minearbejderne i Marikana

16. august 2012 
Politiet i Sydafrika nedskyder 36 strejkende minearbejdere. Den største massakre i Sydafrika siden apartheid-styret.
– Marikana miners’ strike (
– Fagforeningsstrid udløser massedrab i Sydafrika. Af Ole Wugge Christiansen (, 17. august 2012). Interview med Morten Nielsen/Afrika Kontakt.
– En brutal tragedie, som aldrig skulle være sket (Socialistisk Information, 28.8.2012). Artikel fra det sydafrikanske webmagasin Amandla.
– New declaration of class war (Weekly Worker, Issue 928, September 6, 2012). “Hillel Ticktin analyses the importance of Marikana.”
– South Africa: The aftermath of the Marikana massacre and the struggle within the ANC. By Jorge Martín (In Defence of Marxism, 4 September 2012)
– South Africa: trouble for the ANC. By Peter Stauber (Counterfire, 3 September 2012)
– The Marikana massacre: a turning point? By Martin Legassick (The Bullet/Socialist Project, No.689, August 31, 2012)
– The truth behind the Marikana massacre (Socialist Worker, Issue 2317, 25 August 2012). With links to four other articles.
– South Africa: The massacre of our illusions … and the seeds of something new. By Leonard Gentle (Links, August 23, 2012). “… the killings mark the end of the illusion of a moral high ground occupied by the ANC and the completion of its transformation into the governing party of big capital.”
– Marikana shows that we are living in a democratic prison. By Bandile Mdlalose (Abahlali baseMjondolo, 22 August 2012). Bandile Mdlalose is General Secretary of the South African shackdwellers’ movement. 
– The Marikana mine worker’s massacre: a massive escalation in the war on the poor. By Ayanda Kota (Abahlali baseMjondolo, 18 August 2012). Ayanda Kota is spokesperson for the Unemployed People’s Movement in Grahamstown.
– Massacre at a South African mine. By Eric Ruder (, August 21, 2012). “The use of live ammunition last week by police against striking miners in Marikana, South Africa, has invited comparisons to some of the worst massacres committed during the apartheid era.”
– South African miners defiant in face of government, company threats. By Bill Van Auken (World Socialist Web Site, 21 August 2012). “Workers who spoke to South African media were clearly angry and bitter at both the African National Congress government for organizing this bloodletting and the company, Lonmin …”
– Echoes of the past: Marikana, cheap labour and the 1946 miners strike. By Chris Webb (The Bullet/Socialist Project/, August 21, 2012). “If there is a central core … that runs through South African history, it is the demand for cheap labour for South Africa’s mines.”
– A brutal tragedy that should never have happened. Editorial comment (Amandla!, August 18, 2012). “No event since the end of Apartheid sums up the shallowness of the transformation in this country like the Marikana massacre.”
– The Marikana mine workers massacre: a massive escalation in the war on the poor. By Ayanda Kota (San Francisco Bay View, August 18, 2012). “… violence at the Marikana mine shocked South Africa, where, in 2010, 1,769 people died as a result of police action or in police custody, an average of nearly five a day.” Links + video.
– South Africa’s mine massacre. By Bill Van Auken (World Socialist Web Site, 18 August 2012). “The massacre of striking platinum miners … has laid bare the irreconcilable conflict between the working class on the one hand and the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and the trade unions allied to it on the other.”
– Slaughter at South Africa’s Marikana mine: the bloody politics of platinum (Socialist Worker, Issue 2316, 18 August 2012). “Striking South African mineworkers were gunned down by police on Thursday. Charlie Kimber looks at events leading up to the massacre – and the business interests behind it.” + video.
Se også:
– The left and South Africa’s crisis: an interview with Brian Ashley (Against the Current, Issue 160, September/October 2012). Brian Ashley is the editor of the South African journal AMANDLA!
– Social Movements in South Africa. By Zachary Levenson (Against the Current, Issue 160, September/October 2012)
– List of massacres in South Africa (
– Tidslinjen 27. april 1994 om Sydafrika.
– Tidslinjen 8. januar 1912 om ANC.




About selcoolie

see: briefly: Born in Cape Town, South Africa; moved to Sweden in1969 and completed studies in 1983, then moved to Norway and then to S.A. in 1993 - back to Norway in 2005, and been there ever since! E-mail: Web Page: zcommunications/zspace/selcool In My Own Words: ¨ South African born ex-academic now retired, exiled and beyond redemption? Interests South African political economy and history; International Socialism and Marxist/Anarchist thought; anti-militarism and ecological questions My draft autobiography (ALL the "closet secrets" in the open! @ Aslo view:

One response to “ADDITIONAL LINKS”

  1. selcoolie says :


    September 5, 2012 by Arthur Mackay

    Amidst all the confusion after the shooting of 44 protesting miners at Lonmin?s Marikana platinum mine in South Africa, we should not lose sight of the astonishingly simple underlying issues.

    We are told the workers are demanding that their wage be raised to R12,500 per month (about $1,500) but the workers claim their salary is already at this level. They say they are sub-contracted by a company owned by billionaire South African oligarch Cyril Ramaphosa.

    He only pays them R5,400 or less and pockets the rest paid out by Lonmin.

    If this is so then agreeing to the workers´ demands would cost Lonmin nothing and the whole dispute is between the workers and Cyril Ramaphosa.

    Instead of saying this however, Lonmin has placed itself between the two and taken responsibility for negotiating a pay rise which no one has asked for. Doing this, Lonmin is placing Cyril Ramaphosa´s private interests above those of its common stockholders and is neglecting its fiduciary duties.

    It is also leaving itself open to litigation.

    Cyril Ramaphosa in fact owns 9% of Lonmin but was paid out $304m in cash by the company in 2010 in a deal backed ultimately by Xstrata. By comparison common shareholders have received only $60m in dividends in the last two years and have incurred over $2.5bn of paper losses. What the workers are requesting is that Ramaphosa share with them about $18m which he is taking from their wages.

    When Cyril Ramaphosa bought 50.03% of Lonmin?s Black Economic Empowerment partner Incwala Resources in 2010, Lonmin put up the $304m in cash which he needed. Lonmin funded this with a share issue to which, according to Lonmin, Xstrata was the key subscriber. Since then a further $51m of credit has been extended to Ramaphosa.

    Ramaphosa?s company also provides all of Lonmin?s welfare and training services and for this he may have been paid at least $50m in 2011 alone.

    Based on the worker´s demands and their living conditions, we can guess at how much of this reached its stated purpose. Companies linked to Ramaphosa were also paid ?advance dividends? by Lonmin of $20m in the last two years.

    All-in Lonmin seems to have paid Ramaphosa and his related companies well over $400m since he bought into the company. This is about 25% of Lonmin?s current market value and is a very large amount for a man who was supposed to be doing the paying when he bought his stake.
    And this is not all.

    The Marikana conflict is portrayed as a dispute between two unions, the hegemonic NUM and a small new union, the AMCU. But the NUM has been Cyril Ramaphosa´s vehicle since he founded it in 1982. He was its Secretary General until 1998, the year he went into private business to become a billionaire.

    This has led to claims that the ANC has instituted a form of modern day slave labour. The workers´ employer and their union are effectively the same person. Is it surprising that the workers worry that their union is not wholeheartedly defending their legal rights?

    All this casts the Marikana conflict in a very different light to what we have heard so far.
    The dirt-poor Marikana workers, many from Lesotho, living in slums, wearing rags, are asking for an extra $750 per month from one of the most powerful figures in the ANC and one of the richest men in the world, and they are openly calling him an exploiter.
    Such a debacle, which calls into question not only Lonmin, Xstrata and Ramaphosa but also the whole ANC hierarchy, the reality of the “New South Africa” and the credibility of the ANC´s many foreign supporters, not least those in the United States, helps to explain the speed and the savage brutality of the reaction.

    On 16th August, 6 days into the strike, the police opened fire injuring 112 and killing 34 (sic).

    Local witnesses claim the workers were not charging at the police but were fleeing from them as tear gas was thrown at them by another police detachment. Autopsy reports apparently confirm many were shot in the back.

    At the time Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa, was in Mozambique at an SADC meeting. He returned to South Africa but only one day later. He visited Marikana briefly but stayed away from the main area. A full five days passed and only then did he return and visit the crime scene. On the day of the attack Ian Farmer, the CEO of Lonmin, was diagnosed with a ?serious illness? and still has not returned to work.

    A few days later the 270 men who were arrested were charged with committing murder. They allege that they were stripped in their cells and beaten with sticks.

    Once an international outcry began and it became apparent that the publicity of a trial could be counterproductive, they were quickly released.
    Even with the above illumination, some crucial questions still remain.

    How could Cyril Ramaphosa exercise such influence over Lonmin´s Executive Board to be able to effectively bend it, and potentially the Board of Xstrata too, to do his bidding? And what truth could the South African government have been so desperate to hide that it was judged better to risk everything and open fire on its own people, rather than let it see the light?

    The answer lies at the heart of the bitter fallacy of the South African commodities boom and the emerging markets paradigm which we have lived in the last 15 years. The sad truth is that nothing has changed, or, more accurately, nothing has improved.

    In the past there was one oligarch and one South African mining company. They officially opposed the apartheid regime and were liberal but conveniently continued to export gold and diamonds from South Africa up to and beyond 1994.

    Today there are five to ten oligarchs. They are black and they are African. They too oppose apartheid and they too are exporting all of South Africa´s gold and diamonds at the present time. The reason Cyril Ramaphosa could ransack Lonmin in the way he has is because he effectively is Lonmin. Lonmin exists in many ways to serve his interests and its foreign shareholders would do well to understand this. The whole debate about nationalisation is therefore completely moot. South Africa?s mines have already been nationalised and given over to a ruthless tyranny, signed, sealed and delivered by the many cheerleaders of the ANC overseas.

    So what will happen next?

    In fact the next Marikana has already occurred. Tear gas was fired and four workers were shot two days ago on a gold property near Johannesburg controlled by another oligarch, Tokyo Sexwale. The strategy of the ANC?s opposition, which is correct given the extent of the disenfranchisement since 1994, will be to now target every oligarch. It will be demanded that they return much of what was taken. But this will never be done voluntarily and so this conflict, just like the apartheid struggle, will go on for many years.

    Will this really be the lasting legacy of the post-apartheid era? Is this what Nelson Mandela?s years in prison, Bill and Hillary Clinton?s ringing endorsements, Bob Geldof?s concerts and Bono?s songs were meant to bring to us? Will they all now leave the world in darkness, with a set of fearful problems for a future generation to sort out? We will have to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

    * Arthur Mackay is an analyst of global economic and political issues.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: