28 January 2014

South Africa: Platinum Belt Strikes - the Road Is Still Long

Photo: Werner Beukes/SAPA
Striking mineworkers (file photo).


The Marikana Massacre strikes a deep chord amongst the workers in the platinum belt, currently on a protected strike at the world's three biggest platinum producers - Lonmin, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) and Impala Platinum (Implats). THAPELO LEKGOWA & GREG NICOLSON give an update on what could be a marathon strike for the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).

"It is in our culture always to invite the ancestors in everything we do, especially here in Marikana, where the workers can never have an event without first introducing it to the mountain [the koppie]. This is the place where we were shot by the police and some of our brothers' souls are still there."

So said one of a group of workers marching from Marikana's Wonderkop stadium, which is the central designated meeting point for striking mineworkers at Lonmin Platinum, to the koppie. That's why they went on Monday, to honour the ancestors.

The infamous koppie is where workers gathered on 16 August, 2012, before they were mowed down by the police. After 10 people were killed leading up to the event, 34 people were fatally wounded that day. The koppie is an ancestral site for the workers of...

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