MARIKANA SUPPORT CAMPAIGN
An injury to one is an injury to all
Amplats workers are still on strike. They are fighting for a living wage. The strike has not been supported by the NUM.
The same people who wanted to crush the Marikana strike are now using violence against Amplats workers. They are using the same tactics of blaming the strikers for violence when they are attacked as they did in Marikana.
Over the last few months, striking miners in different mines across the country have been attacked by the police, criticised by the government and the media, and some have been dismissed by mining companies. What is most shocking is that the NUM have joined the chorus of criticism instead of fighting against oppression. This has caused anger amongst strikers who have organised themselves through strike committees.
At the Farlam Commission of Inquiry the Police are trying to cover up what they did on 16th August. Along with Lonmin and the government, they want to blame striking miners for the violence. Last week, the police arrested five strike committee members after they appeared as witnesses at the inquiry. They are using the inquiry to intimidate witnesses. This is not acceptable. Now the government has said that there is no money to pay for the families who have lost loved ones to be present at the inquiry.
We call on all workers and members of the community to support the rights of workers to fight for a living wage without being branded as criminals and placed under attack.
What Happened in Rustenburg on Saturday 27th
COSATU General Secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi called a rally at Olympia Stadium to talk about the strikes in Rustenburg.
THEY SAY: Amplats strikers went to the rally to attack the COSATU supporters.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED: Over 5,000 Amplats strikers went to the stadium to hear what COSATU had to say. They wanted to explain to COSATU that they do not want anyone to negotiate for them.
THEY SAY: The Amplats strikers blocked the entrance of the stadium.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED: Amplats strikers arrived at the rally, ahead of the COSATU march. They expressed their anger at the government by tearing some of the ANC and COSATU banners and posters. They were asked by the police to leave the stadium and wait for the march to arrive. They left the stadium peacefully and waited by one of the entrances. There was a second entrance for the march to enter.
THEY SAY: The Amplats strikers attacked NUM members.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED: The COSATU march was small, only a few hundred. Several NUM members broke off and attacked Amplats strikers, removing their T-shirts. Other strikers went to defend them.
THEY SAY: The police had no choice but to shoot.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED: The police started firing rubber bullets and water cannon at the strikers and using nyalas and horses to chase them. Striking miners, under attack, fought to defend themselves. Some NUM members had their T-shirts removed. By the end of the afternoon, 13 Amplats strikers were in hospital. Two of them had been hit with live ammunition. One is in ICU. Not one COSATU marcher was fired on by police.