Browsing All Posts published on »August, 2012«

Sorting fact from fiction at Marikana

August 23, 2012


Inflammatory propaganda, opportunistic interventions and a narrow, finger pointing focus engaged in by everyone from opposition politicians and government ministers to mine management and some campaigning groups, has added to the tension following the bloodshed at Lonmin's Marikana mine. It is high time to sort out some facts from often self-serving propaganda.

A background to Marikana

August 23, 2012


The deaths at Lonmin amount to the bloodiest tragedy of the post-apartheid era. As a result, the blame game is in full swing and is likely to continue in the weeks ahead. But all the finger pointing, accusations and counter accusations only highlight the plethora of questions that desperately need to be thoroughly interrogated.

Lonmin: the need for a comprehensive, transparent inquiry

August 22, 2012


It will be a gross error if the proposed commission of inquiry into last week’s tragic events at Lonmin’s Marikana mine focusses solely on the violent incidents at the mine. It would also be a great disservice to the memories of the dead and the injured, as well as to miners and their families everywhere — let alone the country at large.

Hope amid joblessness and exploitation

August 17, 2012


Even amid drudgery and disappointment, there can be Cinderella moments; times when there is a glimpse of what may be possible; times when even the humblest and most exploited may be able to indulge, however briefly, in the illusion of what a better life might really be. But real Cinderella moments tend to contain a social bite, for all their contradictions, because they retain their moorings in reality.

No angels in bloody SA mine clashes

August 15, 2012


The ongoing tension and violence at South Africa's Lonmin platinum mine is a much more complex and messy business than a simple turf war between unions in the Rustenburg region of the country. At this stage, all that seems clear is that there are no angels in this; no clear good guys and bad guys.

The forgotten legacy of workers’ Olympics

August 10, 2012


Once again, as the summer Olympiad comes to an end, the Ganes are shrouded in some very modern myths that ignore their real origins — and fail to give credit where credit is due. Much of the credit for the fact that women now compete and that men and women from every background are generally included on the basis of ability alone, goes to the labour movement, mainly in Europe, but also in the United States.

Know clearly what you want — and will fight for

August 2, 2012


That there is widespread and apparently growing cynicism within the South African labour movement about politics and politicians is perfectly understandable. Perhaps the lesson to be learned is not only to be careful what you wish for, but to be perfectly clear about what you want and are prepared to fight for.