Aug 30, 2012
Police Casspirs crushed fleeing Marikana mineworkers – professorBack
© Reuse this
Alexander, who holds the South African research chair in social change at the University of Johannesburg, told a ‘Behind Marikana’ seminar organised by the Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP) of the University of the Witwatersrand that the largest number of deaths had not been captured by media television cameras.
He was part of a panel led by SWOP director Professor Karl von Holdt and including David van Wyk of the Bench Marks Foundation, as well as visiting platinum mineworkers Qumbula Mxambulo and Oscar Ndumbana, who are both members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), a rival union to the long-standing National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).
Alexander said that many fleeing mineworkers had been killed well away from the television cameras and unseen by the public.
He said the charges that police had laid against mineworkers for killing 34 fellow mineworkers should now be dropped and instead the police should be put in the dock.
Ndumbana, who was dressed in AMCU apparel, told the panel through an interpreter that what was amazing to mineworkers who had witnessed the killings was that South African television had not shown pictures of what he called police “Hippo” vehicles running over workers and crushing them to death.
Alexander praised Thursdays’ article of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Greg Marinovich, on the Daily Maverick news website, in which he stated that at least 20 were killed out of the sight of the cameras.
Alexander said most mineworkers were running away from the bullets in different directions, but a large number of them ran towards a small koppie where it was possible to hide, but where he believed a large number of the killings took place.
He flashed pictures he had taken at the scene onto a large screen, which showed letters of the alphabet that police had painted on the ground in yellow as corpse markers.
With letters to ‘N’ having been found, Alexander estimated that at least 14 had been killed on the koppie.
“I have very little doubt in my own mind that this was straight-forward murder,” Alexander added.
Ndumbana described an incident in which it was claimed that NUM members had shot at approaching mineworkers, killing two, which was when the mineworkers assembled on Wonderkop, their main rendezvous and not the same, in Alexander's words, "killing koppie" towards which the workers had run after the police opened fire with live ammunition.
Later, when they decided to return to NUM offices to complain about the shootings, they were confronted by police, and three police officers were killed, Ndumbana told the seminar audience.
Cosatu affiliate support officer Jane Barrett, who emphasised that she was not talking in an official capacity, said many might not be aware of the fact that 11 of the workers who were killed on “that terrible day” were actually paid-up NUM members.
Barrett emphasised that the NUM statement on the day before the mass killings, which was criticised during the panel discussion, actually dealt with an investigation into the ten deaths that had taken place before the tragedy, which included the death of two NUM members whose lips and tongues had been cut out.
SWOP's Chrispen Chinguno delivered a paper on strike violence and Asanda Benya on women in underground mining.
Von Holdt is one of the 26 members of the National Planning Commission headed by chairperson Trevor Manuel, the Minister in The Presidency Responsible for the National Planning Commission.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
South Africa will use the upcoming US-Africa Leaders' Summit, which will also encompass the 2014 edition of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) Forum, to appeal for a 15-year extension of the nonreciprocal trade arrangement, as well as South Africa’s...
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
This Week's Magazine
Multinational semiconductor chipmaker corporation Intel announced its national campaign to further acquire partners to drive its She Will Connect programme, an initiative that aims to expand digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries, further into...
South Africa's MeerKAT radio telescope array programme should get back on schedule within a few months. This assurance has been given by SKA South Africa (SKA SA) associate director: science and technology Prof Justin Jonas. Early last month, Science and Technology...
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) Metrorail service will remain a subsidised service following its current multibillion-rand rolling stock, station, depot and signalling upgrade programme. PRASA group CEO Lucky Montana has allayed fears that...
The uncertainties around the remediation of affected areas as addressed in the Contaminated Land Provisions in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act No 59 of 2008 will possibly spark litigation and disputes between landowners and businesses, contractors...
South Africa is currently the largest component of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) active portfolio in Southern Africa, comprising 62.5% of the bank’s $7.9-billion exposure to the 12-country region – the second largest beneficiary is Mauritius, which...