South African miners massacred for corporate profits

This 7 May 2018 video is called South Africa’s mining industry puts profits before people – NUM.

Another video from South Africa used to say about itself:

SHOCKING: Reportedly, Video of South African Police Shooting and Killing Some Striking Lonmin Miners

South Africa’s president has announced an official inquiry into the shooting dead of 34 mine workers by police officers.

Having cut short an official trip to Mozambique to visit the scene of the killings at the Marikana mine, President Jacob Zuma told a news conference he was “saddened and dismayed” by what happened on Thursday.

He said the whole country was mourning and promised a full investigation into the incident, for which the mine workers and police have blamed each other.

Mr Zuma said: “We have to uncover the truth about what happened here. In this regard, I’ve decided to institute a commission of inquiry.

“The inquiry will enable us to get to the real cause of the incident and to derive the necessary lessons too. This is a shocking thing.”

Brazen Lonmin bosses at the tragedy-hit Marikana platinum mine ordered employees to return to work or face dismissal today.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Hard questions for SA police

Sunday 19 August 2012

There can never be justification for a massacre of striking workers and it is essential that the committee of inquiry set up by Jacob Zuma to examine the tragic events at Marikana makes this a central conclusion.

Nor should the committee concern itself solely with the most recent events – the murder early in the week of police, security guards and National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members and the subsequent massacre of strikers by police.

The South African Police Service must explain why its officers were armed with automatic weapons when an order was issued last year banning the use even of rubber bullets during public protests.

Inadequate police training to deal with potentially violent situations, combined with officers’ anger at the butchery of two of their colleagues, was always likely to provide a combustible mix.

But the committee must also examine the wider picture of the platinum industry, the conduct of mining employers, the living conditions of miners and their families and the role of trade unionism.

Platinum mines have delivered tens of millions of pounds of dividends for shareholders, but, despite promises made in company annual reports, workers and their families still live in corrugated iron shacks without running water or electricity.

The most recent investigation of the industry by the faith-based Bench Marks Foundation is scathing in its description of routine death toll of miners underground – usually through rock falls.

It lays bare the penny-pinching attitude of the mining corporations, using poorly paid and inadequately trained subcontracted labour, which compromises the health and safety of workers.

The Bench Marks Foundation was emphatic that the introduction of labour subcontracting, to which the trade union movement has demanded an immediate end, was designed specifically to “break the power of NUM” and weaken the bargaining rights won over decades of struggle.

It is therefore unsurprising that British-based transnational corporation Lonmin, which owns the mine, has cast oil on the flames by ordering strikers back to work on pain of the sack.

Grieving families have not yet buried their menfolk. Some have not even traced which hospital their wounded relatives are in. It is unacceptable that Lonmin bosses should risk an escalation of tension by telling 3,000 workers to get back or ship out.

The divide-and-rule tactics within the industry dominated by an oligopoly of powerful houses are well documented.

The NUM, South Africa’s largest union and a prime target for corporate hostility, has seen the oligopoly use every underhand trick in the book to undermine collective bargaining agreements and to divide the workforce. It accuses one company, BHP Billiton, of initially funding the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, led by Vuzimusi Joseph Mathunjwa, whose recruitment efforts across the platinum industry have common features.

These include systematic violence, extravagant demands – such as a near trebling of pay at Marikana – and collaboration from the mining companies.

One of the NUM members killed early last week was a shop steward and the union insists that its key personnel were on a hit list drawn up by the AMCU leadership.

None of this excuses police commanders of their responsibility for arming their officers to the hilt and ordering them to open fire with automatic rifles.

But it should give some people pause for thought before they repeat erroneous allegations that NUM is a sellout union or that President Zuma ordered the slaughter.

SOUTH African platinum miners were yesterday continuing their strike, and their wives are occupying the entrance to the British-owned Lonmin Marikana mine: here.

Bosses forced to push back deadline for striking miners.

No striking miners will be fired in the week that South Africa officially mourns the killings of 44 men at the Marikana platinum mine, including 34 strikers shot by police, a South African government spokesman said yesterday: here.

Unrest spread across South Africa’s platinum-mining industry today, with previously unaffected mines reporting walkouts and pay demands: here.

Grieving South African families attended memorial services today for 34 striking miners killed by police.

South Africa’s day of mourning fails to stem anger over Marikana massacre: here.

More join South African strike as autopsies show miners were shot in the back; here.

Fewer than 7 per cent of Lonmin’s 28,000-strong South African workforce reported for duty at the strife-torn Marikana mine today as the company held talks with trade unions.

PLATINUM miners arrested at South Africa’s Marikana mine were yesterday charged with the murder of 34 colleagues shot by police: here.

In an act of naked class justice, South Africa is using an apartheid-era law to lay bogus murder charges against striking miners targeted by police in the Marikana massacre: here.

8 thoughts on “South African miners massacred for corporate profits

  1. 27 percent of S. African miners return to work

    Aug. 20 6:21 AM EDT

    JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A spokeswoman for Lonmin’s PR company says that only some 27 percent of workers returned to work Monday morning despite a warning that those on strike would face dismissal. Police shot dead dozens of striking miners near the Lonmin platinum mine in South Africa last week.

    Sue Vey, spokeswoman for the Lonmin PR company Inzalo, said on Monday its unknown how many of the returning workers had taken part in the strike that began on Aug. 10.

    Lonmin says 3,000 of its rock drill operations must to return to work or face dismissal. The company also urged its other 25,000 workers and 10,000 contractors, who have been away due to the violence, to return.

    On Monday morning, Lonmin shares were down some 4 percent.


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