Marikana: What you should know

2015-06-25 20:58
(File: AP)

(File: AP)

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1. At least 44 people died - 34 on one day - when police and striking mineworkers clashed at the Lonmin Mine in Rustenburg in the North West. The battle lasted from August 11 and came to blows on August 16, and claimed not just lives, but left many injured.

2. When President Jacob Zuma on Thursday evening read his summary of the almost 600-page long finding by the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, it was the culmination of hard-fought battles, even through the courts, to have the report released.

3. The recommendation by retired Judge Ian Farlam and his team made it clear there should be an inquiry into fitness of the National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega and North West Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Zukiswa Mbombo to hold office. 

4. The Commission was tasked on August 29 2012 to enquire into and make findings and recommendations concerning the conduct of Lonmin, the South African Police Service (SAPS), the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the Department of Mineral Resources  and other government departments, as well as individuals and groupings.

5. Not only the police, but Lonmin got a lashing in the report: They insisted that non-striking employees report for work knowing full well they were not in a position to protect them from attacks by strikers. The mine's implementation of undertakings with regards to the social and labour plans were also found lacking - underscoring the grievances by the striking miners.

6. With NUM wrongly advising drill operators about the wage negotiations, and Amcu's inability to control their members, the scene was set for a massive showdown.

7. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was heckled when he appeared before the commission by a group in the public gallery who accused him of having “blood” on his hands, got off scot-free, as did Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, who was Police Minister at the time.

8. What was to become known as the Marikana Massacre, started on August 10 2012 as a wildcat strike by rock drillers who demanded a salary of R12 500 - reported at the time to be triple what they were earning monthly. In the end, the price paid by mineworkers was high - not only the loss of lives, but also for families left destitute.

9. The commission poked holes in the police plan to contain the striking workers, and showed them up not only as having been ill-equipped to handle the situation, but also as not telling the full truth about the disastrous incident.

10. The last chapter in the Marikana Massacre is yet to be written, but a new phase is starting with the recommendations that all the killings and assaults that took place between August 11 and 15 2012, should be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions, for further investigation and to determine whether there is a basis for prosecution.

Read President Zuma's full statement here.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  pretoria  |  marikana inquiry

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