UK Solidarity with Marikana Miners
5th ANNIVERSARY DEMONSTRATION AGAINST THE BRUTAL MARIKANA MASSACRE
1-2pm Picket Lonmin HQ, – 1-3 Mount Street, London W1K 3NB
4.30-7pm Remembrance Vigil – South Africa House, Trafalgar Square
Bring yellow flowers
FIVE YEARS ON – STILL NO JUSTICE!
The police, the ANC government and Lonmin are guilty of murder!
On 16th August 2012, the South African Police shot dead 34 striking platinum rock drillers, while they were trying to disperse. Ten people had died before the massacre. The government set up the Farlam Inquiry which cost the working people of South Africa R153 million. Farlam failed to ask the right questions (who gave the order to issue guns to the police? who ordered them to shoot to kill?) and failed to address the issues – better working conditions and better wages, and decent housing.
Although evidence showed clearly that it was the police who killed the miners -19 strikers were charged with murder (!) as well as with malicious damage to property. There has been no compensation for the victims’ families or for the injured mineworkers. A second ‘Inquiry’ found “that the National Police Commander Riah Phiyega was not ‘fit for office’ and should be dismissed”. Phiyega has challenged this and filed for a review.
The ANC government called the shots on mining company Lonmin’s behalf. Elsewhere in South Africa, the struggle continues against the destruction of the environment and the health and social consequences of mining that forces people to leave their land which is the source of their livelihood. The small number of jobs it generates cannot justify the destruction it would cause. Local communities receive no benefits. There is widespread violence against those opposed to mining. Activists are attacked and arrested on trumped up charges. Sikhossiphi Rhadebe, the chair of the resistance community in Xolobeni, was murdered in front of his wife and son on 22nd March 2016. This is another example that Rhodes’ racist legacy remains.
Lonmin (London Mining) used to be a subsidiary of Lonrho, the notorious London Rhodesia company headed by Tiny Rowland, which even a Conservative prime minister Ted Heath called ‘the unacceptable face of capitalism’ because of its wanton profiteering and corruption. Lonmin continues today as the corporate face of neo-colonial capitalism. Principal investors in Lonmin’s murderous exploitation of African mineworkers are London based asset management funds Investec, Majedie, Schroders, Standard Life and Legal & General who own 44% of the corporation. A consortium of banks including Lloyds, HSBC and RBS are Lonmin’s biggest lenders. Lonmin’s UK financiers have blood on their hands!
Struggle for Marikana Massacre Reparation
“Recounting our efforts to convince Lonmin and its business associates, one concludes that there is no compassionate will in Corporations driven by profit margins. Ethics and morality issues are only matters to give an impression that the Corporations’ image is impressive. It has absolutely nothing to do with responsibility and accountability, yet in their glossy catalogues they write about Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethical Investment.
BASF is the world’s biggest chemical Corporation which uses platinum to produce catalysts. It is therefore the primary customer of Lonmin. We have attended two BASF AGMs. Their disdain attitude towards the miners widows Ntombizolile Mosebetsane and Agnes Thelejane disturbed us. They showed no respect nor sympathy in their response to the widows.
Our appeal for the massacre is directed to two parties; the Company and the government. We ask that:
- the company and the government make a public apology for the massacre
- Lonmin pays reparation to the affected parties, dependents of the deceased including the injured workers who survived the massacre
- the 16th August be declared a national holiday and
- a commemorative monument be built at the koppie”
Bishop Jo Seoka, Benchmarks Foundation June 2017
Marikana Women Visit
Primrose and Thumeka are visiting London on the fifth anniversary of the massacre to demand justice from mining corporation Lonmin. Primrose Sonti and Thumeka Magwangqana, two inspiring women are social leaders from Nkaneng, Marikana where 34 striking miners were shot dead by the police on 16th August 2012. They formed a women’s organisation, Sikhala Sonke (We Cry Together), after their friend ANC Councillor Paulina Masuthlo was killed by the police as well. Primrose has been elected member of parliament for the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), whilst Thumeka continued grass roots organising. The film ‘Strike a Rock’ shows the dire social conditions confronting the women, how they sing together, act together and organise together; and how their deep friendship survives the tough demands on it.
Community Solidarity Events
7.00pm Friday 4th August ‘Strike a Rock’ film showing
See trailer at http://www.strikearock.co.za/
7.00pm Friday 18th August Primrose and Thumeka speak about their struggle in conversation with the community.
Both events at 336 Brixton Rd, London SW9 7AA. Organised by Pan-Afrikan Society Community Forum and Marikana Miners Solidarity Campaign