PRESS RELEASE: COMPENSATION TALKS FOR MARIKANA VICTIMS BEGIN, FINALLY

28 January 2016, 8pm

Supporters of the victims of the Marikana massacre will assemble on Friday 29 January, to show their anger at the long delays in the compensation process.

 The lawyers representing those injured and arrested in Marikana in August 2012, and the families of the slain miners, will be meeting attorneys appointed by the state for the first time on Friday 29th January to begin talks about compensation.

The Marikana Commission of Inquiry evidence leaders concluded in their heads of arguments that compensation for the victims could circumvent very lengthy and painful civil claims cases. Despite this, Judge Farlam omitted any recommendations in this regard in his final report.

On 29 September 2015, President Jacob Zuma announced to the press that he supports “swift compensation for bona fide claims” against government arising from the 2012 Marikana shootings.

While we welcome the fact that the meeting is taking place, we hope that the promise to expedite the process is genuine and that we will not see further delays in this process which we believe can, and should in the interests of justice, be swiftly concluded.

We also note that 17 mineworkers face serious charges, and will be facing a pre-trial hearing in April. This process is going ahead, while at the same time there has been slow movement on the recommendations arising from the Farlam Commission to appoint a senior counsel to lead a team to investigate100 police officers to see whether they have committed crimes themselves.

We also note that summonses have been served on a number of people by the legal teams representing the victims. We urge the NPA to act independently and swiftly to ensure that all remain equal before the law.

The demonstration will take place on Friday 29 January, assembling at 12pm, 81 Maud Street, Sandton.

 For more information call:

Spokesperson: Rehad Desai – 083 997 9204

Coordinator: Trevor Ngwane – 079 0307657

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Miners Shot Down (85 min) Screens on ETV January 11TH at 10pm

MARIKANA SUPPORT CAMPAIGN

PRESS RELEASE Thursday 7th Jan 2016

Miners Shot Down (85 min) Screens on ETV January 11TH at 10pm

We are extremely proud to announce that the feature length version Miners Shot Down is finally being screened to the wider South African community through a local Free To Air (FTA) TV station. A film that has garnered scores of international awards including of late an International Emmy Award and numerous local TV and journalism awards.

We note the tireless campaigning for this to happen by Amandla.Mobi who gathered over 5 000 signatures and other bodies such as the Right To Know Campaign. The widows of the slain miners also played their part in this effort, turning up to both ETV and SABC in numbers to request an audience and demand the film be screened.

The awards and more importantly this screening are a small but important victory for the victims of the massacre, which include the hundreds of injured and arrested. The nation will at long last get an opportunity to view the massacre from the viewpoint of the victims. This is also a victory for freedom of expression and press freedom that we have seen being eroded over the past years particularly on FTA TV channels

The screening, while late, is also timely as by the end of  this January discussions will be underway with the government in regards to just levels of compensation.

In the following months 17 miners who still face serious charges will be involved in a pre-trail court hearing. In addition, charges brought against individuals at Lonmin and government, including Cyril Ramaphosa, will be going to court. The Marikana Support Campaign will stand side by side with the victims throughout these processes.

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MINERS SHOT DOWN HAS BEEN NAMED AS A FINALIST IN THE 2015 INTERNATIONAL EMMY® AWARDS

We are pleased to announce that South African documentary, Miners Shot Down, has been nominated for an International Emmy® Award.

 

The film tells the story of the 2012 Marikana massacre. To date, Miners Shot Down has been shown in 76 festivals across 37 countries and won 19 awards.

“We are continuously humbled by the way the film is being appreciated by audiences all over the world. It shows how deeply disturbed people are about what happened at Marikana on 16 August 2012. It is now three years on and the commission of inquiry came to close a year ago. We await a fair and just outcome for the victims.” (Rehad Desai, Director).

The injured and arrested, along with the families of those killed at Marikana, recently learned that President Jacob Zuma plans to appoint a judge assisted by legal experts to expedite the process of civil claims. While this is welcomed, those affected by the massacre are very clear that is not enough. They want criminal prosecution of all those responsible for the massacre.

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Marikana Massacre – Families seek legal action and discussion of Marikana Report

As we gear up to mark the 3rd anniversary of the Marikana massacre several organisations and allies have been working tirelessly to continue the fight for justice for those affected by the Massacre. The families of the slain Marikana Miners, with support from The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) , the Legal Resources Center (LRC) and the WITS Law Clinic have filed civil claims against the Government. The full press release is attached below:

Download: Families of Marikana mineworkers file civil claims against
Government – SERI.pdf

The Marikana Support Campaign has also released a press statement requesting that the State takes a morally correct stance on the Marikana victims compensation claims.

Download: The State needs take the morally correct stance on the Marikana victims compensation claims – Marikana Support Campaign.pdf

David Bruce for the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) has provided a summary and discussion of the report of the Marikana Commission. The report is essential reading for those who want to understand where the report failed to properly address the events of 9-16 August and how its ‘key framing argument’ needs to be reviewed.

Download:  Summary and discussion of the report of the Marikana Commission – David Bruce.pdf

Please remember to check our blog regularly for updates and follow us on Facebook for more information.

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Justice Delayed is Justice Denied – Rehad Desai on the Marikana Massacre

Over 1000 days ago the South African police opened fire with R5 machine guns on striking miners at the Lonmin Mine in Marikana, killing 34 of them in what is now known as the Marikana Massacre. Since the massacre  the Farlam Commission has been held to investigate the lead up to the tragic events of the 16th of August 2012 and also to establish who should take responsibility for the loss of life. Several months after the release of the final report no action has been taken against the police, Lonmin or the politicians implicated in the massacre.

As the 3rd anniversary of the massacre draws nearer we are once again picking up the fight for justice on behalf of those slain, and those left behind by the horrific events at Marikana. Rehad Desai, director of Miners Shot Down considers the implications of the Farlam Commission and the importance of continuing to struggle for justice at Marikana in an op-ed available here: The Daily Maverick – Justice Delayed is Justice Denied by Rehad Desai

Several events are also being organised to mark 3 years since the massacre, for a full list, please check out the Marikana Day Facebook Event Page and Amandla.Mobi website. If you would like to organize an event in your town, please register your with Amandla.Mobi and we will include it in our program.

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Miners Shot Down Facilitators Guide – Engaging Dialogue

Miners Shot Down - Facilitators Guide

Miners Shot Down is more than a documentary film. It’s part of a much broader campaign which works on behalf of the families of those killed and injured at Marikana Massacre and the 270 miners arrested by the state. The movement is spearheaded by the Marikana Support Campaign and is supported by a range of legal NGO’s and other groups. The Campaign aims to expose the truth of what happened at Marikana, work for justice for those slain and the families they leave behind, and provide tools for community based organisations to support the work of public interest and non-governmental organisations.

The Miners Shot Down film has played a  central role to building the campaign. With screenings across the globe the film has taken the story of what happened to the miners at Marikana to large auditoriums and small community spaces. Out of these screenings free and open dialogues  have emerged, conversations between participants that have helped to not only create awareness of what happened, but have also developed critical responses and calls to actions to support the campaign.

To help facilitate these discussions we have produced a facilitators guide that can be used in conjunction with the film. The guide aims to empower participants by allowing them to express their opinions so that they can learn from the film and from each other. We have made the Facilitators guide available for public download and it can be found at the link below.

Pleases don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions, it’s only through continued dialogue that we can grow and continue our battle for justice.

download

 

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MARIKANA SUPPORT CAMPAIGN PRESS RELEASE: THE FARLAM REPORT: HOSTILE TO WORKERS FROM THE OUTSET

 

The Farlam Report opens with a finding that squarely blames the strikers for the violence. By placing this upfront, Farlam sets the tone for what is to come:

“…the tragic events that occurred during the period 12 to 16 August 2012 originated from the decision and conduct of the strikers in embarking on an unprotected strike and in enforcing the strike by violence and intimidation, using dangerous weapons for the purpose.”

This statement is offered as a fact that we have to accept. But it is an opinion. There is no evidence to back it up. The Marikana Support Campaign considers this finding as a gross defamation of the miners.

At the same time, despite a run of evidence to the contrary, Farlam and his Commissioners exonerate Ramaphosa and other government ministers. Lonmin is substantially exonerated.

By tarnishing thousands of miners as being responsible for the violent acts of a few, it becomes possible to conclude that the police had reasonable grounds to shoot 17 miners at Scene 1.

During the Commission of Inquiry, senior SAPs officers committed perjury and wholesale fabrication of evidence. While SAPs is rightly castigated, the Commission’s findings are based on the ‘cock up’ theory of mismanagement and poor planning. The Marikana Support Campaign contends that this is insufficient. The evidence clearly points to an attack that was preplanned, and the direct result of pressure from the government.

In the coming months, the Marikana Support Campaign will be consulting widely on the form of an independent, civil society led, initiative that will seek to analyse the evidence presented before the commission. This will result in a published, authoritative report into the massacre at Marikana.

In the interim, taking the evidence that was presented to the Commission into full account, below are the minimal principal findings that the Farlam Commission should have made.

On 16 August 2012

  1. 17 miners at Scene 1 were murdered by SAPS officers, many using R5 machine gun rifles.
  2. There was no attempt by miners at Scene 1 to attack SAPs officers.
  3. SAPS officers hunted down and killed a further 17 miners at Scene 2. Many were executed whilst surrendering.
  4. 270 miners shot and injured at Scene 1 and 2, were the victims of attempted murder by SAPS officers.
  5. SAPS fabricated evidence at Scene 2 by planting weapons on dead miners.

On 13 August 2012

  1. There was an unprovoked attack on peaceful miners by SAPS causing death and chaos.
  2. SAPS is primarily responsible for the deaths of three miners, two police officers and the shooting and injuring of more than 20 miners and a police officer.
  3. One miner, Mr Sokanyile, was hunted down, targeted and executed by a SAPS officer 800 metres from the original scene.

On 11 August 2012

  1. Unarmed striking miners were attacked by members of the National

Union of Mineworkers. Two striking miners were shot in the back with firearms issued by NUM officials.

On Self-defense by strikers

  1. Following the attacks on the miners on 11th and 13th August, the    decision to carry spears and pangas to defend themselves against further attack was justified.

On Attempts to Negotiate

  1. The only party who consistently endeavored to negotiate was the striking miners. On each day, often on several occasions, the miners requested to meet with management, only to be rebuffed.

On Lonmin

  1. The evidence discloses that the primary purpose of the strategy adopted by Lonmin was to ensure that the strike was defeated quickly by SAPS, thus preserving the profitability of Lonmin. To this end Lonmin colluded throughout with SAPS.

On Ramaphosa, Mthethwa, Shabangu, NUM, Lonmin and SAPS

  1. The tragic events that occurred during the period 12 to 16 August 2012 originated from the decisions and conduct of the above parties in refusing to treat the miners as decent human beings and in enforcing such decisions by violence and intimidation, using dangerous weapons in particular the R5 machine gun rifle, capable of discharging 600 rounds per minute.
  2. This report would not be complete without a condemnation in the strongest terms of the violent manner in which the strike was to be broken.

Prosecutions and Suspensions

The Marikana Support Campaign fully endorses the Economic Freedom Fighters’ decision to open criminal cases against Cyril Rampaphosa, Nathi Mthethwa, Susan Shabangu, Riah Phiyega and Lonmin executives. This is in accordance with the damning evidence that exposes the ‘toxic collusion’ that took place to crush the strike that resulted in the killings and injuries.

Finally, the SAPS officers who murdered miners are still walking the streets of South Africa. They should be immediately suspended.

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