Motion on Marikana

Islington National Union of Teachers general meeting passed the motion below unanimously last night:

Islington Teachers Association condemns the murder of 32 striking Lonmin miners in August 2012 by South African police in Marikana and endorses the view expressed by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) that “what happened that day, similar to the 1922 Rand Revolt and the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, marked a turning point in the social and political life of South Africa”.

We share the belief of NUMSA that “Marikana was a deliberate defence of mining profits and mining capitalists”. We consider that it is difficult to draw any other conclusion from the blatant collaboration, prior to the massacre, between the Lonmin bosses, government ministers and SA police, as revealed in the award-winning documentary Miners Shot Down, recently screened by Islington NUT.

We call on the NUT executive to endorse the following decisions contained in a motion carried at a Special Congress of NUMSA last December (2013):

1. To call for a full and impartial investigation of the causes of what happened in Marikana as the 11th National Congress of Cosatu had called in September 2012.

This investigation, unlike the Farlam Commission, would look not only at who pulled the trigger or who gave instruction to murder the workers in Marikana but would also investigate the root causes of the massacre such as the persistent migrant labour system and super exploitation of labour by capital in South Africa.

2. To call upon the South African government to make available all the necessary resources and requirements to the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the massacre, and more especially, accede to the demand for necessary assistance to the families of the miners and the injured miners and their lawyers.

3. To call for the dismissal of the Commissioner of Police, General RiahPhiyega.

4. To demand that all the politicians and individuals who are in complicity with the police and state in the murder of the Marikana miners be brought to book.

5. To demand that the mining bosses accept full responsibility for the deaths of all the workers on the mines, and that where appropriate, necessary prosecutions must follow.

6. To demand the immediate absolute dropping and withdrawal of police charges against all the arrested Marikana miners.

We also call on the NUT Executive to support the international Day of Action called by NUMSA in support of these demands on August.

We agree to donate £250 to the Marikana Support Campaign.

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