Marikana: Farlam Commission robbed mineworkers of justice - AMCU

Union says govt must not contest the civil claims from the families of the 37 mineworkers killed by police


13 August 2015

On 16 August 2012 the police, with the active help of Lonmin management, government ministers and politically connected business people, as well as officials of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), massacred 34 workers and severely injured hundreds other Mine workers.

Many were executed as they lay injured.

This action was a clear position of the State that it was anti-worker progress and is committed to protect the monopoly capital with these yellow Unions in the expense of the working class.

The commission of inquiry appointed by President Zuma and chaired by retired Judge Farlam to investigate why this massacre took place and who was to blame, effectively cleared the police, the Lonmin bosses, government ministers, and of course top politicians like Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

In our view the Judge Farlam’s report was a disgrace – it was a bloodwash!

The mineworkers that fought a heroic struggle were the ones blamed for causing the massacre.

Even worse no compensation IS BEING provided to the victims and their families. Families have lost their breadwinners and are now condemned to live in destitute. In short, the Farlam Commission has robbed the mineworkers of Justice.

As AMCU we remain committed to fight for justice for the mineworkers killed and injured at Marikana. The struggle for the truth will be a long one but we are standing with our members, the widows and the other family members, for as long as it takes.

This search for justice begins with the AMCU supported civil claims against the Minister of Police lodged by the widows and families of those killed and maimed. We demand that the government desist from contesting these claims but rather speedily provides compensation to the victims’ families.

We are currently seeking legal advice to have the outcomes of the Commission reviewed and if deemed necessary to support an independent inquiry. AMCU is undertaking a major fund-raising campaign to build houses for the widows.

Soon we will be undertaking international speaking tours to share with our brothers and sisters across the world the suffering we have had to endure In the struggle for Justice for Marikana AMCU stands with the comrades of our fallen heroes who continue to struggle for a living wage of R12 500. Just last week AMCU members rejected the crumbs being offered by the Chamber of Mines in the gold negotiations.

They are clear; they are fighting for R12 500, partly out of respect for their fallen brothers and partly because anything less condemns them to lives of misery.

It is tragic that for those that survived the bullets of Marikana they now face being fired as part of the retrenchment wave that is gripping many sectors of our economy with mining at the centre.

With unemployment standing at over 40% the planned retrenchments kill off hope and a possibility of a life of dignity as mercilessly as a R1 bullet. As AMCU we reject these plans. We are preparing all our members for this mother of all struggles.

As AMCU we believe that the Lonmin Massacre which is known as Marikana massacre signalled the end of the dream of the new South Africa, of the Rainbow Nation of the negotiated settlement.

Instead, 20 years of the new democracy has seen the rich get richer and the poor poorer, unemployment rose, more than doubling since the end of Apartheid and more than half the population live in extreme poverty, robbing them of dignity and life. Lonmin massacre has shown that for the vast majority life is as wretched as it was under Apartheid.

Lonmin massacre showed that Black workers are no longer prepared to take this situation. They are prepared to stand up and fight for better life for all. While other trade unions are busy fighting succession battle in the political space to be future government officials, AMCU will always be committed to the struggle of transforming the lives of the working class and its communities at large. AMCU will remain a progressive voice of the oppressed.

To commemorate our fallen heroes is by advancing the struggle for a living wage and to fight the power of Transnational Corporations impunity.

We will be holding the third commemoration rally at the Koppie on Sunday, 16 August 2015 at 09H00.

We will appeal to all South Africans to join us in commemoration of our fallen heroes. We will also appeal to all South Africans to pledge towards the AMCU Marikana Massacre Trust Account.

Statement issued by AMCU, August 13 2015