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Ebrahim Harvey | Lessons from the Marikana massacre have greater relevance today than 10 years ago

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A cross of remembrance during the commemoration of the 2012 Marikana massacre in 2016.
A cross of remembrance during the commemoration of the 2012 Marikana massacre in 2016.
Antonio Muchave/Sowetan/Gallo Images/Getty Images

The Marikana massacre was undoubtedly the ANC's most serious crisis since 1994, which severely questioned its legitimacy, writes Ebrahim Harvey.

On 16 August it will be a decade since that fateful day when in 2012 the South African police shot and killed 34 striking black miners and injured many more, some seriously, at the multinational Lonmin mine in Marikana, which is situated in the platinum-rich Rustenburg region of the North West province. It was the most significant number of citizens killed in a single event by the police in post-apartheid South Africa.

However, it is the material circumstances under which they were unnecessarily and without justifiable provocation shot dead and injured by police during a strike for better wages, working and living conditions which has always most tragically distinguished those deaths. The strikers wanted a R12 500 monthly "living wage", an expression of the historical struggle by the working class for a decent standard of living, of which a good and decent wage is the most critical measurement. 

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