Five years later, the Marikana massacre stands as a reminder of how the South African government and private capital can use violence to suppress citizens demanding a better life.
Police brutality continues to be stoked by political leaders. Upon taking office, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has made a string of remarks calling more aggressive policing, including advocating ‘shoot to kill’ policies. According to the latest Independent Police Investigative (IPID) report, during the first half of last year, the police had killed 207 people. Another 154 died in police custody.
Defend the Right to Dissent.
To prevail our democracy needs to hear the voices of those marginalised and those hungry for justice. The right to protest is critical to ensuring that citizens are able to voice their dissatisfaction and to hold government and the private sector accountable for their actions and obligations.
Rather than protecting the right to protest – as a democratic government should – the South African state criminalizes dissenting voices. Our right to protest is routinely frustrated or denied. Too often protests are met with police violence as protesters are attacked with stun grenades and rubber bullets. From the Apartheid-era doctrine of Common Purpose used to punish community leaders to threats of charges of High Treason against protesting students, authorities show their contempt for those who struggle for political, social, economic and environmental justice.
Justice for Marikana
The Farlam Commission Report recommended that the police be investigated for the murder of the 34 mineworkers. But to date no police have faced any charges relating to the events at Marikana, or even internal disciplinary processes. Instead 17 Marikana leaders are facing serious public violence charges linked to the strike. This action reinforces the subtext of the Farlam Report that the strikers were to blame for their own massacre.
The final report of the Claassen Inquiry into Riah Phiyega’s fitness to hold office has not been released to the public, more than a year after its completion. Meanwhile, Phiyega’s contract has expired and she has left the post, her benefits conveniently intact.
Then, to add insult to injury, the families, plus the injured and arrested, are still waiting for the promised compensation. The negotiations are ongoing.
We must intensify our efforts to support the Marikana Solidarity Campaign to get justice for the victims and their families.
Unite to Resist Repression
The Right2Know Campaign urges South Africans to never back down in their individual and collective struggles for political, social, economic and environmental justice. To win our struggles we must together confront and defeat the brutality of the police.
We call on all justice loving people to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the massacre by uniting to resist repression and stand up to police brutality. Let the courage of the Marikana workers inspire our own resistance.
15 August – Strike a Rock: screening and discussion, in partnership with Corruption Watch
2nd Floor, Heerengracht Building, 87 De Korte Street, Braamfontein
17h30 – 20h30
Contact: Carina – 0715714470
16 August – We demand the demilitirisation of the police! Picket at John Vorster Square (Johannesburg Central Police Station) (TBC – please call organiser to confirm)
214 Main Reef Rd, Westgate
07h00 – 09h00
Contact: Carina Conradie – 0715714470
16 August – Anti-Police Brutality march to Tsakane Police Station, in partnership with the Kwatsaduza Community and Workers Forum (TBC – please call organisers to confirm)
10h00 – 13h00
Meeting point: Extension 10 Soccer Ground. March to Tsakane Police Station.
Contact: General Moyo – 0715290675 or Carina Conradie – 0715714470
15 August – Screening of Miners Shot Down, followed by night vigil
Enduduzweni Hall, Umlazi (TBC – please call organiser to confirm)
18h00 – overnight
Contact: Thabane Miya – 0732445175
16 August – Funeral march to Umlazi koppie, then to Umlazi police station
Meeting point: Main Gate, Mangosuthu University of Technology
07h00 – 13h00
Contact: Thabane Miya – 0732445175
16 August – Picket at Parliament demanding the demilitarisation of the police!
Parliament of South Africa
11h00 – 14h00
Contact: Mhlobo Gunguluzi – 078 742 7719 or Khaya Xintolo – 078 024 1683