Voices from South Africa's Mining Massacre
Publication Year: 2013
While the official Farlam Commission investigation of the massacre is still ongoing, many South Africans do not hold much confidence in the government’s ability to examine its own complicity in these events. Marikana, on the other hand, examines the various roles played by the African National Congress, the mine company, and the National Union of Mineworkers in creating the conditions that led to the massacre. While the commission’s investigations take place in a courtroom setting tilted toward those in power, Marikana documents testimony from the mineworkers in the days before official statements were even gathered, offering an unusually immediate and unfiltered look at the reality from the perspective of those most directly affected. Enhanced by vivid maps that make clear the setting and situation of the events, Marikana is an invaluable work of history, journalism, sociology, and activism.
Published by: Ohio University Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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About the authors
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Peter Alexander is a professor of sociology at the University of Johannesburg and holds the South African Research Chair in Social Change. In the UK, he gained degrees from London University, was an academic at Oxford University, and held leadership positions in the Southern Africa Solidarity Campaign, Anti-Nazi League, Miners’ ...
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This book includes testimony from strikers who were present at Marikana during the massacre that occurred on 16 August 2012. It offers ‘a view from the mountain’, from the koppie where workers were sitting when police manoeuvres commenced, and where many of our interviews were later conducted. ...
Maps of the area
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1. Introduction: Encounters in Marikana
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On a blistering hot af_ternoon in Marikana just a few weeks af_ter the brutal massacre of 16 August 2012, 10,000 striking work-ers carrying knobkerries and tall whips waited patiently in the sun. Four of us, researchers from the University of Johannesburg, found seemed volatile. The workers were singing ‘makuliwe’ [isiXhosa for ‘let there be a fight’]. We felt the force of the movement. One wrong ...
2. The massacre: A narrative account based on workers’ testimonies
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On 16 August 2012 the South African police massacred 34 strik-ers participating in a peaceful gathering on public land outside the small town of Marikana. The workers’ demand was simple. They wanted their employer, Lonmin, to listen to their case for a decent wage. But this threatened a system of labour relations that had boosted profits for Lonmin, and had protected the privileges of the ...
3. Background interviews: Undertaken by Thapelo Lekgowa and Peter Alexander
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Joseph Muthunj.scw.sca: I was born in 1965. I am from the family of priesthood under the Salvation Army. The relatives of my mother for a job. I couldn’t go to further education, my father was not get-ting paid enough to assist. I started working in construction around Witbank, close to the mines. Then I went to Tweefontein Colliery. ...
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Speech given by Tholakele ‘Bhele’ Dlunga (a strike leader) Amandla [the power]! Awethu [is ours]! Viva workers, viva! Eish these airplanes [circling above the crowd of about 15,000 workers who were sitting very quietly and still on the grass outside Nkaneng] are disturbing us—let us continue regardless. Okay, okay every one please be silent, I am going to use my language to address ...
5. Interviews with mineworkers: Undertaken by Thapelo Lekgowa, Botsang Mmope, Luke Sinwell and Bongani Xezwi
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The interviews below are taken verbatim from translated transcripts. We did not intervene to censor or distort the workers’ voices. Most of them believed that two of their number had been killed in shootings outside the NUM of_f_ices on 11 August. We now know this was not while I was still learning at school, I told myself that I was not going ...
6. Analysis and conclusion: Peter Alexander
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The Marikana Massacre seized the lives of at least 34 people, nearly all of them striking workers employed by Lonmin. It was an exceptional event, at least for South Africa. In 1992 the Ciskei Defence Force killed 28 anti-apartheid activists in Bhisho. In the same year about 40 people died at Boipatong, but in that case the Inkatha Freedom Party, rather than the state, was the main culprit.1 ...
They died at Marikana
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Bongani Nqongophele* 27 September 1981 Kwaleni Village, Elliotdale, ECBonginkosi Yona* [N] 6 December 1980 Magashu Village, Lady Frere, Fezile David Saphendu* 24 December 1988 Cawu Location, Mqanduli, ECKhanare Elias Monesa* 21 January 1976 Boroeng, Buthe Buthe, LesothoPatrick Akhona Jijase* 12 March 1986 Dwaku Village, Ntabankulu, EC...
Page Count: 166
Illustrations: illustrations, maps
Publication Year: 2013
Series Editor Byline: John Smith, Will Wordsworth