Socialist Worker

Don't forget the message of Marikana

Issue No. 2517

Lonmins mine at Marikana

Lonmin's mine at Marikana (Pic: Wikimedia Commons/JMK)

This week four years ago South African police gunned down 34 striking mine workers at the Lonmin corporation’s Marikana mine.

The massacre confirmed that, although the defeat of apartheid was a great victory secured centrally by black workers’ struggle, the bosses continue their deadly rule.

The state is now headed by a black president, yet it backed the bosses all the way. It then organised a cover-up.

The killings did not stop the strike, and its success inspired many others. But the fight for justice continues.

The widows of the Marikana workers want the full truth about what happened and to receive decent compensation.

They want those responsible—such as deputy president and Lonmin board member Cyril Ramaphosa—to face a reckoning.

Miners and poorer people in Marikana still don’t have guaranteed access to water.

Amnesty International reported this week that many miners “are living in squalor” despite the firm’s promises to build more houses.

The company admits that 13,500 Marikana mine workers lack formal accommodation.

There will not be genuine transformation until the world’s wealth is taken back from the capitalists and used to enrich the immense majority of people.

Marikana is an argument for socialist revolution.

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