south Africa: ‘Only blacks killed at Marikana’

By IndepthAfrica
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Sep 9th, 2012
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An unidentified woman protests against the police near a shooting scene at the Lonmin mine near Rustenburg, South Africa, Friday, Aug. 17, 2012. Police chief Mangwashi Victoria Phiyega says 34 miners died and another 78 were wounded when police opened fire on strikers in one of the worst police shootings in South Africa since apartheid. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

South Africa should question why no whites were among those killed in the Marikana shootout, the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) said on Saturday.

“We must be worried that 100 percent of those shot were black,” ANC Youth League president Ronald Lamola said.

He was speaking at the 21st anniversary celebration of the SA Student’s Congress (Sasco) in Durban.

He told guests that South Africa should be worried that there were “so few” whites and Indians in student movements.

When Sasco was formed 21-years ago white and Indian students participated in it, he said.

“Where are those students? In a non racial movement, this should worry us. We must be able to see a rainbow nation everywhere.”

The ongoing inequality in the economy was preventing the country from becoming a true rainbow nation because white males were in control, said Lamola.

“The ruling class is still dominated by white people.”

Lamola welcomed the judicial commission of inquiry into the Marikana incident but urged it to investigate the extent of Lonmin’s profit.

On August 16, 34 striking miners were gunned down by police at the

Lonmin mine in the North West province. Another 78 were injured.

Lamola insisted that the “recruitment strategy” of Lonmin need to be closely looked at.

He urged Sasco members to “study hard” so that the strategy of nationalising mines could be carried out.

He said the league had identified manganese, platinum and gold mines as those that needed to be nationalised, along with petrochemical giant Sasol.

Earlier, Young Communist League secretary Buti Manamela said Lonmin’s role in the shooting, and the reasons behind the protest by miners needed to be investigated.

“People do not go on strike because the police are not properly trained,” said Manamela.

Congress of SA Trade Union president Sdumo Dlamini also welcomed the launch of the inquiry.

He, however, said it was disturbing that there were “hypocrites” who had accused Cosatu and its affiliate — the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) — of demanding too much before the shooting and then accused them of doing too little in the aftermath.

Workers were demanding a wage increase of R12 500.

Dlamini dismissed any suggestion of making mines ungovernable.

“You can’t call for the ungovernability of the mining sector and hope that the miner will keep their jobs.”

He described the call for the “mines to be collapsed” as the work of “demagogues”.

On August 30, expelled ANCYL leader Julius Malema vowed to lead a revolution that would make all mines in the country ungovernable.

“We are going to lead a mining revolution in this country… We will run these mines ungovernable until the boers come to the table,” he told workers at the Aurora mine in Grootvlei at the time.

Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba warned that the the youth should “desist from elevating individuals above the movement [ANC].

He said the ANC came first and it was against “hero worshipping”.

Gigaba warned that there was a real danger of a counter revolution by former ANC members, and that the mining sector needed introspection as there was a clear indication that something was wrong. Sapa

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