Inquiry exposing 'unholy' mining deals

2012-10-24 20:36
Judge Ian Farlam, chairperson of the Marikana commission of inquiry. (Picture: AFP)

Judge Ian Farlam, chairperson of the Marikana commission of inquiry. (Picture: AFP)

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Johannesburg - The Farlam commission has exposed "unholy" deals in the mining industry, the Pan Africanist Congress said on Wednesday.

"The labour relations in the mining sector has collapsed and is replaced by deals between mining moguls, politicians and the union leaders," secretary general Bennet Joko said in a statement.

"These deals have suppressed the interests of workers over a long period of time. It is tragic that the ruling elite and mining shareholders led to the slaughter of the mineworkers in Marikana."

ANC national executive committee member and businessman Cyril Ramaphosa's name was prominent on Tuesday at the inquiry investigating the deaths of 34 striking miners at Lonmin's Marikana mine.

Advocate Dali Mpofu, representing the miners injured and arrested after the shooting on 16 August, mentioned an e-mail in which Ramaphosa strongly condemned the protests, described them as criminal acts, and suggested "concomitant action".

"This [e-mail] was on 16 August at 14:58, exactly 24 hours before the people were mowed down on that mountain."

Mpofu said there were e-mails sent between Lonmin management, government ministers, and Ramaphosa.

The commission's brief was to investigate the shooting that left 34 miners dead when police tried to disperse them on 16 August.

The workers, who wanted monthly salaries of R12 500, had been carrying knobkerries, pangas, sticks, and iron rods.

Joko said the inquiry confirmed that mineworkers were being exploited, which had resulted in their rejecting trade unions.

The unrest at the Lonmin platinum mine had been blamed on rivalry between the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union and the National Union of Mineworkers.

Joko said the families of the miners injured and killed in Marikana needed to be fully compensated.

"The R75m allocated to the commission [must] be matched rand for rand as compensation to the families."

He called for further investigation into deals made in the mining industry involving mine bosses, trade unions, and the government.

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