Two years after Marikana – Commemoration Events and Screenings

Saturday, 16th of August  2014 marked two years since the Marikana Massacre. To commemorate the date many events were held across South Africa as well as internationally signifying the continued and growing support for the Marikana Justice Campaign.

Marikana Commemoration - ENCA

Marikana Commemoration – ENCA

The largest event was a commemoration rally held on the 16th at the Marikana Koppie. The rally was attended by over 10 000 people including mine workers, community members, political party representatives, activists, and media. During the course of the day artists performed and a play was put on to commemorate the fallen. Various speakers then addressed the crowds, including representatives of the widows, the injured, and arrested miners . The event was extremely successful and a proved to be a moving testament to all those who fight for justice for the slain Marikana miners that the struggle continues to grow.

Other events included a site inspection of Wonderkop organised by Sikhala Sonke. The Women of Marikana, and widows of the murdered miners spoke to the 200+ attendees. The speakers explained that the quality of life has not improved at all in the settlement. The event showed that 2 years after the massacre nothing had been done to improve living conditions or to make reparations.

In Johannesburg, a picket was organised outside the Johannesburg Central Police Station. Over 100 people attended the picket from various organisations. The picket served as both a commemoration of the 16th and a call to action against police brutality. A smaller picket was held at the Tsakane Police station. A March from the Jabulani Mall to the Jabulani Police Station was held in Soweto. The 150+ attendees handed over a memorandum at the police station. A photograph exhibition, with a book and panel discussion (Justice, Redress and Restitution: Voices of Widows of the Marikana Massacre) was held at the University of Johannesburg with over 80 people in attendance, including students and the UJ deputy vice chancellor.

In Cape Town, the African Arts Institute hosted several activities during the week leading up to the anniversary. These activities included projecting images onto buildings, a performance procession, renaming streets in the Cape Town CBD, street theatre sketches, dressing statues as miners, and banner drops across the city.  On the 16th a Vigil was held at the Rondebosch United Church and Sikhala Sonke organised a morning of solidarity where second hand goods and food were collected for distribution to Marikana workers and families.

The “We are all Marikana” protest took place outside parliament on the 15th of August. The protest started at parliament and then moved to the Cape Town Grand Parade where a mass candlelight vigil was held. The protest was supported by several unions, civil societies and NGO’s. A copy of the film was handed to the police station commander who undertook to show it to his colleagues. On the following day 2000 people participated in a  “We are all Marikana” march in Phillipi. The march ended with a picket outside the Phillipi police station.

Several screenings of MSD were hosted to mark the anniversary of the massacre. Johannesburg screenings included: Germiston Central Police station, Wits University, The Bioscope Independent Cinema, and Constitution Hill. In Cape Town screenings were held at: University of the Western Cape, University of Stellenbosch, Community House in Salt River, The Labia Cinema, and the University of Cape Town. In Durban screenings were held at the International Plaza arcade, and Live the Venue, where a solidarity benefit concert was also held. In Bloemfontein a screening was hosted at the University of the Free State. Internationally screenings were held in Dortmund, London, Moscow, Vienna, and several screenings in the Philippines   The film was also broadcast by a variety of carriers, including: Community TV and Al Jazeera. The free-to-view version of the film gathered over 10,000 views while posted on Youtube.

The number of events, and participants that commemorated the Marikana Massacre show that the movement is growing both locally, but also internationally and that the miners of Marikana will not be forgotten.

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Miners Shot Down at the Tri Continental Film Festival

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The 13th Tri Continental Film Festival is taking place from the 26th September until the 6th of October in Johannesburg  and Cape Town. The TCFF features films and documentaries which touch on social and political issues and has a strong commitment to human rights and democracy through media.

This year’s festival features films from across the globe which look at issues ranging from revolutions in the middle east, the exploitation of natural resources in central Africa, and the growth of fascism in Europe. In addition to these several South African films will be shown at the festival, including Miners Shot Down.

For a full schedule, and more information on the festival you can visit the TCFF website. The Program for the festival is available for download here.

Miners Shot Down will be showing at the following venues:

Saturday 27th September – 20:30
Rosebank Cinema Nouveau

Saturday 4th October – 18:45
V&A Waterfront

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From Lonmin to Bermuda – Lonmin Accused of Profit Shifting

Marikana Commission

Testimony (16 September 2014) presented to the Marikana Commission by Mahomed Seedat, an executive director  of a Lonmin subsidiary, has uncovered a startling structure where massive sales commissions have been paid by Lonmin to Western Metals Sales Limited, a Lonmin owned subsidiary based in Bermuda (a known tax haven). Nearly R200-million a year in sales commissions were paid to the subsidiary from 2008-2012, totaling R1.2-billion, an additional R1.2-billion  was paid in management fees to Lonmin Management Services.

Lonmin allegedly put a stop to this practice in 2007, however records show that the practice was actually stopped in 2012 and only backdated to 2007.  Lonmin’s legal counsel Schalk Burger explained that attempts to stop the payments had been blocked by Lonmin’s black economic empowerment (BEE) partner, Incwala Resources (then controlled by Ramaphosa’s Shanduka Group)

The Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC) as well as the EFF has called on SARS to investigate Lonmin for tax evasion. EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi expressed his outrage:

“What this means is that Lonmin, where mineworkers were murdered and where Cyril Ramaphosa is a director, has been claiming that they do not have money to pay workers the R12 500 minimum wage, while they are in reality shifting billions of rands to tax havens,”

In response to the EFF’s statement, a Lonmin spokesperson has denied any wrong-doing calling the allegations “completely false”. Dick Forslund, a senior economist suggests that the payments to Bermuda are only a small part of a larger system which sustained exorbitant executive salaries. The alleged tax avoidance tactics practiced by Lonmin are particularly embarrassing for Cyril Ramaphosa in light of his recent attacks against corporate tax evaders.

Read Dick Forslunds piece on Lonmins Bermuda Tax Haven here. The Alternative Information and Development Center press release can be found here.

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Remember Marikana – 16 August

In August 2012, mineworkers in one of South Africa’s biggest platinum mines began a wildcat strike for better wages. Six days into the strike, the police used live ammunition to suppress the strike, killing 34 and injuring 78. The Marikana Commission of Inquiry has been sitting since October 2012 and is due to conclude on 30 September. The 16th of August 2014 marks 2 years since the massacre took place.

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Many people who have watched Miners Shot Down have asked us “what can we do to help the justice campaign?” One of the most important things we can do is to make the 16th August a ‘special’ day, similar to the 21st of March, the day of the Sharpeville Massacre and June 16th when 76 school students were mowed down in Soweto, to send a loud message that people will not forget what happened on this day two years ago. We want to remind people of the massacre of 34 strikers by the South African police and honoring the dead and wounded. This is enormously important to the families who lost loved ones on the 16th August 2012, and to the Lonmin platinum miners who took part in the strike.

We are encouraging people to take action on and around the 16th August, to show support for the Justice Now for Marikana campaign. Join one of the events to Remember Marikana on 16th August 2014 in South African events or International events.

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Tell eTV and SABC to show Miners Shot Down

706x410q70gregm-naidoo-subbedOn August 16th all South Africans will pause and reflect on the tragedy that was the Marikana Massacre. As our free to air channel and public broadcaster, eTV and the SABC have a responsibility to tell the story of our first post-Apartheid Massacre. Yet it’s been 5 months since the SABC were asked to screen the documentary, and still no response. As citizens and consumers of SABC and eTV it is important that we come together now and demand that these broadcasters air the documentary. That is why Amandla,  an independent social justice organisation in South Africa, has set up a petition to get Miners Shot Down aired on national television.

To join the 3000 people who have already signed the petition, click here

 

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Al Jazeera to Screen Miners Shot Down

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In the run up to the 2 year commemoration of the massacre in Marikana,  Al Jazeera English will be doing a number of screenings of Miners Shot Down in Africa, during the month of August. Below are the times and dates when you will be able to catch the film – don’t miss it!

13 Aug 22.00 CAT
14 Aug 14.00 CAT
15 Aug 03.00 CAT
16 Aug 08.00 CAT

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Miners Shot Down at Lusaka International Film and Music Festival

We’re excited to announce that Miners Shot Down has been selected to open the Lusaka International Film and Music Festival 2014 on Friday, 26th September. The film will be screened at 8pm at the Levy Junction Mall’s Fresh View Cinemas.

The Lusaka International Film and Music Festival (LIFMF) is an annual 8 day film platform that showcases primarily African feature films, short films and documentaries and hosts a number of workshops as well as a variety of events that feature musical artistic genres. Watch this space for more…

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