9 June 2014

South Africa: Marikana Massacre - the First of Lonmin's Voices Are Heard


As South Africa's longest strike drags on with no resolution yet in sight, hunger stalks the shanties of Marikana. With the Farlam Commission due to finish by 31 July (perhaps), witnesses are being flipped like television channels by a nine-year-old with the remote in his hand and a candy jar on his lap. GREG MARINOVICH reports on a first glimpse into Lonmin's view on what happened on 16 August 2012.

Mike Da Costa was, in 2012, the manager of Lonmin's Karee mine, one of the three mining units at Marikana. Karee has been the mine that caused all the trouble for Lonmin from years before the massacre until today. It is notorious among miners as the mine with the most intolerable working conditions. The men at the rock face are almost continually wet underground, with conditions said to be more physically arduous than at Lonmin's Eastern or Western Platinum operations.

It is little surprise that it is from Karee that all of Lonmin's major labour disputes have arisen.

Da Costa was cross-examined about the genesis of the 2012 strike, as well as the role played by the Lonmin executives in how it played out, ending in the deaths of 34...

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