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 (150 word limit)
Updated 6 minutes ago Eskom has asked its staff to consider voluntary retrenchment packages, a spokesman confirmed on Wednesday. "We can confirm that we have announced the process by which employees can apply for voluntary separation packages," spokesman Andrew Etzinger said.
Updated 2 hours 15 minutes ago JSE-listed Huge Group on Wednesday posted triple-digit earnings growth for the first half of the year as it continued to improve operational efficiencies and contain costs. During the six months to August, earnings a share and headline earnings a share rose 128.8%...
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
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.
This Week's Magazine
JSE-listed real estate investment trust (REIT) Rebosis Property Fund achieved a distribution growth of 8.1% to 99.45c per linked unit in the financial year ended August 31, despite volatile market conditions.
A low-cost, inflatable incubator won this year’s international James Dyson design award, which aims to encourage and inspire the next generation of design engineers.
The World Bank released its ‘Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency’ report last month and ranked South Africa 43 out of 189 global economies for its ease of doing business, with Singapore topping the rankings.
Air Products South Africa officially launched its R300-million Eastern Cape air- separation unit (ASU), at its new manufacturing facility in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), earlier this month. It is the second facility that Air Products launched in South...
BMW South Africa (SA) has signed a power purchasing agreement with energy company Bio2Watt. The offtake partnership will bring renewable energy to the carmaker’s Rosslyn plant, north of Pretoria.