News on the Farlan/ Marikana Commission; What really happened on August 11th @ Marikana? The History of a “Cover-UP”! Marikana prequel: NUM and the murders that started it all, by Jared Sacks

Marikana Commission: Cornered Mathunjwa let out by Dumisa Ntsebeza

AMCU president Joseph Mathunjwa appeared credible and honest under scrutiny once again at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry. But for the intervention of lawyers sympathetic to his side, he could have been left tainted. By SIPHO HLONGWANE.

The animosity between the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) before 16 August has led the president of the latter into sharky water at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry. Joseph Mathunjwa was unexpectedly called upon to intervene in the escalating labour unrest, even though his union was not the bargaining partner to the company. His politicking has opened an opportunity for lawyers to question his priorities.

Tshepiso Ramphele, the lawyer acting for two security guards who were killed by striking miners, put it to Mathunjwa that the union was responsible because some of the men who committed the murders were AMCU members. Mathunjwa backed out of that charge by stating that his union never called the strike.

“We regret the loss of life, but we can’t take responsibility, because this was the workers’ strike, not the AMCU’s strike. As a union you can’t divorce yourself, but it doesn’t mean you agree with them,” Mathunjwa said.

Previously, the AMCU president also stated that they had agreed with the company’s legal bid to have the strike declared unlawful before the 16 August massacre happened.

Takalani Masevhe, who is acting for the family of Warrant Officer Tsietsi Monene, also challenged the unionist for not trying to warn the police that threats had been made against them. A video was broadcast earlier at the commission, and shows the striking workers being addressed by one of their leaders in Mathunjwa’s presence.

“If the police claim to have safety, they should go and apply that safety to the employer. We are not leaving this place unless we get what we want,” the strike leader, Mgcineni Nokwe, said. “Let them go immediately. Those police brought here are going to remain here. They will not be able to get back into that hippo. We will finish them here.”

He was killed at the hands of the police later that afternoon.

Masevhe questioned why Mathunjwa did not try to either stop the miners from making threats, or why he didn’t warn the police. However, the union boss has stated on several questions that the police were uncooperative towards him on that day. Also, he has said that as much as his union was more trusted by the striking miners than AMCU, he didn’t have the power to make the workers do anything. The only promise he extracted from them was that they would disarm if Lonmin came to negotiate with them.

Ramphele and Masevhe were two of several lawyers who failed to make headway against Mathunjwa for asking redundant questions. This was in contrast to the stern cross-examination of police advocate Ishmael Semenya and Lonmin advocate Schalk Burger SC on the previous days of this cross-examination.

It was left to Dumisa Ntsebeza, who represents the families of the 34 miners who were killed, to recast Mathunjwa in a positive light after other lawyers suggested that AMCU may have been involved in goading the workers. He, the lawyers for the injured and arrested miners and AMCU are trying to paint the tragedy as having been the fault of the police, the company and NUM.

After the commission saw videos of AMCU national organiser Dumisani Nkalitshana singing songs about killing the NUM with the striking miners, Ntsebeza cross-examined Mathunjwa to give the meeting an innocuous cultural connotation.

“In my culture, it is December now and we will be going back home where I will take my sharpened stick. As we sing and dance, we do the clashing of the weapons every time,” Mathunjwa said, when asked why he hadn’t been afraid of the armed men.

Ntsebeza was briefly challenged by Lonmin’s Burger on the songs, and replied by comparing them to chants between football fans.

Mathunjwa’s history with NUM was also clarified, when Ntsebeza asked about the animosity between the two unions. When he was NUM’s local secretary at Douglas Colliery, he was expelled for leading a reportedly unprotected strike. His membership was terminated after he refused to sit in on a disciplinary hearing chaired by the then NUM general secretary Gwede Mantashe (now the ANC secretary general), citing it as unfair.

So far, the testimony of Mathunjwa has revealed that the police and the company may have failed to listen to him, even though he apparently got a breakthrough promise of disarmament and dispersal on the 15th. But we have also learned that he and his colleagues leapt at a chance to seize Lonmin away from NUM, and could have been inappropriately zealous in their interactions with the miners. Of course, their actions on the day would not have been viewed in this light if nobody died.

Mathunjwa’s cross-examination continues next week Wednesday. DM

Read more:

  • Marikana Commission: Joseph Mathunjwa stands his ground in Daily Maverick

Photo by Greg Marinovich. Wonderkop, Marikana, Oct 18, 2012. 

@ http://dailymaverick.co.za/article/2012-12-05-marikana-commission-cornered-mathunjwa-let-out-by-dumisa-ntsebeza

see aslo:

Strike leaders arrested following testimony before Marikana massacre inquiry

@  https://selim1404.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/strike-leaders-arrested-following-testimony-before-marikana-massacre-inquiry-in-south-africa/

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Marikana prequel: NUM and the murders that started it all

  •  JARED SACKS
  •  
  • 12 OCTOBER 2012 02:53 (SOUTH AFRICA)

The coverage of the Marikana massacre seems to start with the mass killings of 16 August. But that’s not where, or how the violence started, and it wasn’t rivalry between unions, either. Rewind a few days and prepare for goosebumps: you’ll find a web of conspiracy around two murders which were not reported in the media and ended in no arrests, but scared the living daylights out of the workers before the weeks of horror started.

Because the Marikana Massacre marked a turning point in the history of our country, I went to the small mining town in the North West. I wanted to know what truly happened and what it meant for the future of our so-called democracy. I hoped my trip would enable me to answer some of the burning questions left obfuscated by media, government and civil society campaigns alike.

It seemed it would be difficult, if not impossible, to uncover the cause of the violence at a distance from Marikana because of the complete failure of most media outlets to ask the right questions of the right people. Professor Jane Duncan of Rhodes University has found that journalists rarely interviewed independent mineworkers or residents of Marikana, preferring to quote “official sources” such as unions, Lonmin or the police. Moreover, my experience of previous incidents of repression in South Africa had taught me that such sources are often unreliable, as they have a lot to lose by telling the truth.

Through my investigations I found that, contrary to many media reports, inter-union rivalry was not the immediate cause of the violence. In fact, a significant cause of the violence can be laid squarely on the National Union of Mineworkers and their murder of two of their own NUM members – which until 2 October remained unreported.

Meeting the community

After meeting a community member (whose family did not consist of direct employees of Lonmin) in Johannesburg, I spent a week at the end of September living in the massive Nkaneng shack settlement in the township of Wonderkop. Together, Nkaneng and Wonderkop dwarf Marikana itself, housing the vast majority of the area’s mineworkers. Yet almost all the roads there remain unpaved, and residents are forced to go all the way to the “city centre” for most of their needs. Geographically and socio-economically, Wonderkop is the bastard stepchild of the Marikana municipality, further marginalised by Lonmin, whose corporate social responsibility initiatives remain unnoticeable.

During my visit, I spoke to Lonmin workers who had participated in the strike and others who were not active strikers. I interviewed the wives and children of the miners and I also sat down with unemployed and self-employed residents who did not have family members working at Lonmin.

I began to piece together a more detailed and shocking timeline of the strike and how it eventually degenerated into the horrifying footage played out for the whole world to see.

Revelation

Perhaps the most striking thing I heard repeatedly in Wonderkop was the near-complete hatred that all residents, regardless of their connection to the strike, had towards the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

I had assumed that within Wonderkop there would be a divide between supporters of NUM and those that had jumped ship to their smaller non-Cosatu affiliated rival, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU). I assumed there would at least be a significant minority of residents who blamed the strikers for instigating the killings and felt that NUM still remained a relevant and credible force among Lonmin workers.

And yet every single person that I spoke to, without fail, blamed NUM for starting the violence and reneging on its responsibility to represent the workers. This was the case even when people I interviewed expressed dislike for the strikers and their own subsequent acts of brutality. Almost everyone felt more hatred towards NUM than they did towards Lonmin, the police or even the Zuma administration.

Alternative timeline: how the strike began

On Wednesday 8 August, some rock drill operators (RDOs) from various Lonmin mines had a mass meeting demanding a significant salary increase. The NUM leaders present categorically refused to support the strike, despite the union’s stated mission to promote and represent the interests of its members. On the following day (Women’s Day – a holiday for the workers), thousands of RDOs from all Lonmin mines met at the Lonmin-owned football stadium, adjacent to the settlement, where they agreed to approach Lonmin management directly, as NUM was refusing to represent them.

According to Xolani*, an active striker from Lonmin’s Karee mine, RDOs “came together as workers, not as a union.” As the large majority of the workers at the assembly were NUM members, the AMCU was unrepresented at this meeting.

On the morning of Friday the 10th, workers assembled and marched to the offices of Lonmin management. David, a Lonmin mine geologist I interviewed (who was returning from work and was not then part of the strike), decided to join the striking RDOs to see what was going on. David told me that management refused to speak to the workers, who were assembled peacefully, and told them to go back to the NUM leadership.

Xolani and a few other participants in the march corroborated this. He explained that security had tried to stop the march and that after a long wait, the general manager of the mine came out and then went back in to fetch a NUM leader. After waiting for almost an hour, the NUM leader came out and reprimanded the workers, saying they would not get anything without going through the union.

As a result of Lonmin and NUM’s refusal to meet with the workers, more than 3,000 RDOs and other miners decided to go on strike and refused to clock in that evening. This was a wildcat strike organised directly by workers, without any union representation.

11 August: March on NUM

At approximately 07:00 on Saturday, workers, still primarily RDOs, decided to go to the main offices of NUM in Wonderkop and present union leadership with a memorandum. It is important to note that the NUM offices are also the offices of the ANC and SACP in Wonderkop. They are manned by the top five NUM branch leaders from all the Lonmin mines in Marikana. These leaders are senior to shop-stewards and are elected to their position by workers for a period of three years. Interestingly, David explained to me that they get their normal worker’s salary plus a huge bonus of R14,000 per month from Lonmin. They are therefore accountable to management. Both the NUM leaders and Lonmin are “happy with this arrangement”.

As strikers were by and large NUM members, they were naturally angry that their own union refused to listen to them. The memorandum demanded that NUM represent them in their call for a R12,500 minimum wage for all miners. NUM’s stated raison d’être is, after all, to be a democratic organisation that represents its members.

Julius, an RDO from Lesotho employed at Lonmin since 2008, explained that, as a NUM member, he was hoping the memorandum would convince union leaders of the significance of their wage demands.

Only a handful of AMCU members were present during that march, as many workers from the Karee mine, where AMCU already had a membership presence, was far away and not yet participating in significant numbers in the strike. Xolani, one of the few AMCU members present that day, said this protest was really a case of NUM members rebelling against their own leadership, not a case of inter-union rivalry.

The first murders, ‘a different account’ 

Once striking RDOs were about 100-150 metres away from the NUM office, eyewitnesses, both participants in the march and informal traders in and around a nearby taxi rank, reported without exception that “top five” NUM leaders and other shop stewards, between 15 and 20 in all, came out of the office and began shooting at the protesting strikers somewhere in the vicinity of the Wonderkop taxi rank.

Some strikers I interviewed claimed the NUM leaders first threw rocks at them before the shooting started. Others said they were attacked from two different angles of the taxi rank. There is also a discrepancy as to just how many guns were in the possession of the leadership that came out of the NUM office (reports range from between five and 15 firearms).

Despite those discrepancies, the strikers and other witnesses – without exception – claim NUM personnel shot at the protesters without warning or provocation. The miners were clearly ambushed by their union representatives. From that point on, the miners marching towards the NUM office, primarily NUM members, ran in many directions: back along the road in which they had come, through the nearby bond houses and through Lonmin-owned hostel properties. They later re-assembled at Lonmin’s football stadium, deciding there for the sake of safety to move to the nearby koppie, a small hilltop uniquely placed on public land between Wonderkop, Marikana and the various Lonmin mines. Protesters seem to have made no attempt to defend themselves, and there seem to have been no further clashes for the rest of the day.

John, a non-striking Lonmin worker, saw two bodies of strikers not far from the NUM office as he returned home from work. One was lying dead by the bus stop in the taxi rank, the other was just outside the workers’ hostel. The range of people I interviewed corroborated the location of the two dead bodies, but it was extremely difficult to confirm the names of the dead strikers as neither Lonmin nor the police have confirmed that any deaths occurred on the 11th. Neither have they released any substantive information about what happened on that day.

However, one person I interviewed provided me with the following new namesnot released by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate: S. Gwadidi from the Roeland Shaft and Tobias Tshivilika from New Mine Shaft. Both were reportedly RDOs and also NUM members.

I was not able to assess if these names were correct or if any other people were injured during this shooting on the 11 August.

Everyone I interviewed agreed on this general timeline of the murders: two deaths at the very beginning of the violence, followed by a subsequent eight deaths and a number of injuries during the following three days, from Sunday, 12 August until Tuesday, 14 August.

It started out as a peaceful strike

I wanted to find out when and why the workers began to arm themselves, and so asked a wide range of residents in Wonderkop why and when striking workers began carrying traditional items such as sticks, knobkerries and pangas.

The consensus, with one exception, was that the strikers went to their homes to fetch their traditional weapons on Saturday, 11 August, after the murder of two strikers. In the words of David, who was present at the march (but still not yet on strike himself), “people decided to arm themselves (after the first two murders) in self-defence”. Xolani and Julius support this assertion: they had nothing in their hands during the march.

Some women leaders from the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco), a body aligned to the ANC, SACP and Cosatu, agreed that the miners only took up arms in self-defence after their members were murdered by NUM officials. Many of the informal traders and bystanders at the scene of the NUM shooting were hesitant to speak to me. Yet, after I assured them that they would remain anonymous, all, without exception, said the violence on that day came from the people working in the NUM office. When I asked some young men playing draughts who killed whom, they merely pointed in the direction of the NUM office, saying it was “them”. By all accounts the strikers were unarmed that morning when they marched to their own union office.

Misrepresentations

When I returned from my visit to Marikana, I began searching through all the mainstream and alternative media reports I could find. After reading hundreds of articles, I found none that mentioned the incident on the 11th. Until the Farlam Commission recently interviewed a worker about the events on that day, not a single media report had acknowledged that the first deaths occurred on the 11 August rather than on the 12th.

A single early South African Press Association story placed the first two shootings on the evening of 10 August. But that was all. That story contradicts other mainstream media reports and does not corroborate what people say on the ground. It seems most likely that the reporting is mistaken and those four people mentioned in the article were actually shot on the morning of the 11th during the march on NUM offices, and that two of them later died.

The only other possible explanations for the lack of reporting on the incident would be either (a) that the murders on the 11th did not take place at all, and that everyone I have interviewed were somehow lying or (b) there is some kind of cover-up of the murders of Mr. Gwadidi and Mr. Tshivilika – both unlikely conclusions.

All the other articles I’ve read have told a completely different story: that the first deaths occurred on Sunday, 12 August. These include two of the security guards in the daytime and two other miners in the evening (see for instance, articles: here,herehereherehere and here.

It is as if no one outside Marikana knows that two people were murdered in broad daylight at the busy Wonderkop taxi rank. This is strange, except when one considers that no one in Wonderkop/Marikana has access to the media except for NUM, Lonmin and the South African Police Service (SAPS). The media, not present in Marikana until later in the week, were relying on these three official bodies for their entire investigation. Not a single community member or worker was actually interviewed during the first few days of the strike.

As Professor Jane Duncan’s analysis of the media coverage of the Marikana Massacre from 13 to 22 August has shown, only 3% of articles about the events included interviews with workers themselves rather than “official” institutions such as government, SAPS, Lonmin, NUM and AMCU. With one exception, journalists that did actually speak to workers were only interested in asking questions about muthi.

What this means is that no eyewitnesses were contacted by journalists and, when a few were eventually contacted (mostly after the 16 August) they focused primarily on the more recent massacre and overlooked the original cause of the violence.

Causes and responsibilities

Many analysts and academics with easy access to the elite public sphere place the root cause for the Lonmin strike and the subsequent violence on the deprivation and exploitation meted out each and every day on RDOs and other miners all over South Africa. Greg Marinovich’s recent interviews with Lonmin RDOs have done a lot to illuminate the lives and working conditions in the mines.

I found, however, that NUM’s actions, undemocratically refusing to represent its own workers and siding instead with Lonmin management in the wage dispute, were a significant contributor to the violence. Even more disturbing, NUM saw its own workers as enemies from within – an uneducated and unthinking mass to be controlled and managed rather than served.

This is why NUM leaders such as Frans Baleni think it is impossible for workers to organise themselves without a “third force” acting from behind the scenes. My interviews have shown quite clearly that workers were acting by and for themselves, regardless of union affiliation, in rebellion against their own union leadership. They were their own leaders.

The paranoid and delusional fear that NUM members were being “remote controlled” by outsiders set on “destroying the union” may have been what led its leadership at Lonmin to respond irrationally and violently to the striker’s peaceful march on the NUM office.

Police response

The police did nothing in response to the two deaths on 11 August. No one was arrested that day, nor was anyone interrogated. This was despite the fact that many strikers present during the murders assert they can identify at least some of their assailants. Xolani, for instance, named two of the shop stewards, one from the Training Centre and one from the fourth shaft in Wonderkop. Others pointed out the Lonmin “Top Five”, one of whom seems to have now been assassinated.

I asked David if he thought there might have been an alternative to the violence if the police had arrested the murderers on that fateful day. He replied, “I think it would be different if police had arrested NUM…if you don’t arrest anybody, then it seems like you are protecting them.”

Whether or not police could have uncovered the full story on that day, the act of doing nothing left workers with the perception that they were isolated. “Worker, you are on your own” could be their rephrasing of Bantu Steve Biko’s famous words. If one is standing unarmed and vulnerable against armoured vehicles, guns and the full might of the South African state, then, as workers may have put it when meeting on top of the now infamous koppie on the afternoon of 11 August: It’s time to get ready for war. DM

Jared Sacks is a Cape Town-based social justice activist and founder of the non-profit organisation, Children of South Africa

*Not his real name. Because of the recent spate of murders targeting NUM leaders in Marikana, the names of everyone interviewed for this article have been changed, though their real names are known to the author.

@ http://dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2012-10-12-marikana-prequel-num-and-the-murders-that-started-it-all

—————-

After the police executions at Marikana

by Paul Trewhela
10 September 2012

Paul Trewhela on an old question that has found new saliency in the aftermath of the killings

All the ingredients for a climactic eruption in South Africa have been present for almost two decades.

Almost universal agreement on the untenability of the present is matched by equally deep differences on the pattern for the future.

The conflict is also rooted in the divergence and diversity of hopes about what is to come.

South Africa is not a hopeless society; perhaps that is why its central conflict appears to be so intractable.

Some have what others want, and others are determined to monopolise what some want to get at.

It is a deeply divided society where one side’s dreams and expectations for the future becomes the other’s threat to, and frustration of, the present.

That is also why it is increasingly becoming a violent, bitter, and brutalised society.

The question is, why? What is the underlying issue?

***

I must ask the spirit of Frederik van Zyl Slabbert to forgive me. Professor van Zyl Slabbert (“Slabbert”, or “Van”) died two years ago, and the words above are his, only slightly changed from when he first spoke them. They appear as the first words in his address, “The Dynamics of Reform and Revolt in Current South Africa”, delivered 25 years ago in the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Brasenose College, Oxford, in October and November 1987.

They can be spoken or written today, as I’ve just done, only very slightly changed.

After those crucial questions, “Why? What is the underlying issue?”, Slabbert continues:

“Is it class, race, ethnicity? Obviously greed, intolerance, fear, are primordial emotions that run deep in South Africa, but they epitomise rather than explain the dilemma.”

He goes on to state:

“Because analyses of South Africa are often so starkly divergent, it provides a fertile climate for ideological dogmatism.

Differences of opinion, tactics and strategy, often blow up into major confrontations and are seized upon….

“Ideological certainty depends on intellectual compromise, and South Africa is rife with compromised intellectuals who know better but refrain from saying so. The need for certainty is often the most compelling evidence for uncertainty.”

Now, nearly four weeks after the mass shooting by police of armed miners at Marikana on 16 August, followed by repeated reports of cold-blooded executions by police of miners who were wounded, in hiding or surrendering with their hands held straight up in the air, these words by Slabbert have a terrifying immediacy.

Like the zing of a bullet, they ricochet off the rocks at Small Koppie. After a quarter of a century, they demand an answer from the new governors, the new Masters of the Universe, whom Slabbert did his best to assist into office – the greed, intolerance and fear of the old South Africa, which he critically discussed, now brutally revealed as the template (only slightly changed) of the New.

Four documents reveal the limitations – even, the failure? – of the project of transformation which Slabbert did his remarkable best to assist into being. Each should be read with care, and in relation to the others.

The first is the official, state-sponsored report from nearly ten years ago which popularly bears his name, the “Slabbert Report“: more precisely, the Report of the Electoral Task Team (of which Slabbert was chairman), issued in January 2003.

The second is a press statement on 23 March this year giving the rejection by the government and ANC administration in Luthuli House to calls for attention to be given to the buried words of the Slabbert report, delivered by Mathole Matshekga MP, the chief whip of the ANC’s voting herd in the National Assembly.

The third is the report in The Star last Wednesday, 5 September, headed “Begging miners ‘shot for fun'”.

The fourth is the official “ANC Alliance Statement on the Situation at the Lonmin Platinum Mines” issued on Friday 7 September, following a meeting the previous day by the bigshots of the ANC Alliance – ANC, South African Communist Party and Congress of South African Trade Unions – in response to what they modestly and demurely referred to as the “tragic” and “unfortunate” departure from this world of the shot miners.

Slabbert Report

In an article in the Dispatch on 21 August, I wrote that the “long history of unaccountable power in South Africa has time and time again produced these turns to violence, followed by mass slaughter by the state, followed by wider and wider political disenchantment with the previous political elite, perceived as responsible for the slaughter. So it was after the crushing of the white miners’ strike by Jan Smuts in 1922, so it was after Sharpeville, and so it will be now.

“The new, democratic constitution arising from the end of the Cold War and the unbanning of political organisations in South Africa was supposed to have provided a process in which a law-bound system of democratically elected representatives, mediation and arrived-at consensus would end this bloody history. Clearly it has not. …

“This must mean a return to the issues examined by the electoral task team under the chairmanship of the late Frederik van Zyl Slabbert….

“As it stated then in its crucial section 4.3.5 of the report – its section on accountability – …with ‘very few exceptions a lack or perceived lack of accountability was identified as a problem in the current system.’

“Polling of the electorate showed that already more than 10 years ago ‘only 60% felt that the system helped voters hold individual representatives accountable’.

Today any adequate poll would surely show this figure very far below 60 percent.

“Already at that time, the commission continued, this resulted in ‘71% feeling that candidates should come from the area they represent, which was seen as a means of improving their individual accountability.

Lack of accountability and availability/responsiveness was thus also seen as the weak point’ of the entire political process.”

ANC high command rejection of Slabbert Report

In its statement issued by ANC Chief Whip Motshekga last March, the ruling party high command – now answerable for the mass shootings and executions at Marikana – rejected calls for implentation of the Slabbert commission’s call for electoral reform enabling a majority of MPs to be elected on a constituency basis, with local voters empowered to vote for a specific individual and sack that MP if he or she proves corrupt, brutal, lazy or otherwise no good.

With astonishing crassness, Motshekqa stated the ruling party’s reason for opposing any change from its current party-list system in language and concepts identical to those of the apartheid period.

The unaccountable party-list system had to stay, he said, because South Africa has “a largely illiterate population.”

As reported in the Sowetan, the commission “suggested a hybrid electoral system where at least half of the 400 MPs would be directly elected by their constituencies in place of the current list system.

“Motshekga said South Africa’s democracy was still not mature enough to entertain the kind of system suggested by the commission.

“‘The Van Zyl Slabbert report does not take into account the fact that we are a young democracy; we have a largely illiterate population,’ he said.”

(Mr Motshekga did not explain how he and his superiors explain this confluence of their own political concepts with those of their former apartheid masters).

Cold-blooded executions reported by survivors

Lungisile Lutshetu was among those arrested at Marikana on 16 August and released on bail on Monday 3 September last week.

He returned to Small Kopppie with journalists from the Star the next day, to where “bright-green alphabetic marks on rocks and trees” indicated “where bodies lay after the shooting.”

Lutshetu said he “believed more people than reported were killed between the rocks.”

Chased by police, he said he “‘found a hiding place between large rocks, but then police were already all over the place. Those in front of me were shot at close range and fell over me, and that’s how my life was spared.

“‘There was a Sotho man who I saw kneeling next to a big stone with his hands up.

He begged for his life and apologised profusely for something he didn’t know about, but the heartless officers riddled him with automatic rifles, which pierced through his body.’

“Lutshetu said he had seen at least 15 people being shot dead or left injured, ‘only for some of the injured to be shot again in the head later and finished off’.”

When arrested miners were made to lie prone, Lutshetu said, ‘The unlucky ones who dared raise their heads were killed’.”

Lutshetu’s firsthand account gave powerful support to evidence already provided by the photo-journalist Greg Marinovitch on the Daily Maverick website on 30 August(before arrested miners were released on bail) and again on 2 September (also before their release).

On Thursday 6 September, Sky News in Britain carried a lengthy report by Ms Alex Crawford, its special correspondent in South Africa, with lengthy television coverage of the scene of carnage at Small Koppie, including interview on camera with a named miner who reported deliberate executions of miners, in the same manner as reported by Mr Lutshetu.

At the time of writing, no policemen have been stood down and arrested on suspicion of murder.

The Commissioner of Police, the director of the National Prosecuting Authority and the Minister of Justice should be held to account.

ANC Alliance Statement

Obtuse denialism.

Incapacity to face the truth.

Blame always located somewhere else.

A government and ruling party purblind to reality.

As Slabbert warned 25 years ago: “All the ingredients for a climactic eruption…untenability of the present….a violent, bitter, and brutalised society.”

And 10 years ago: “Lack of accountability…the weak point” of the entire political process.

@ http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71619?oid=325233&sn=Detail&pid=71619

 

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About selcoolie

see: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/pdp/profile/A3SF2PCBUWC4UO?ie=UTF8&ref_=sv_w_h__4 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: selimgool@yahoo.com 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! @ http://southafrica.indymedia.org/uploads/2006/02/an_odyssey___from_cape_town2.pdf Aslo view: http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A2ZHOZT2GTDHU1

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