Miners Shot Down Facilitators Guide – Engaging Dialogue

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Miners Shot Down is more than a documentary film. It’s part of a much broader campaign which works on behalf of the families of those killed and injured at Marikana Massacre and the 270 miners arrested by the state. The movement is spearheaded by the Marikana Support Campaign and is supported by a range of legal NGO’s and other groups. The Campaign aims to expose the truth of what happened at Marikana, work for justice for those slain and the families they leave behind, and provide tools for community based organisations to support the work of public interest and non-governmental organisations.

The Miners Shot Down film has played a  central role to building the campaign. With screenings across the globe the film has taken the story of what happened to the miners at Marikana to large auditoriums and small community spaces. Out of these screenings free and open dialogues  have emerged, conversations between participants that have helped to not only create awareness of what happened, but have also developed critical responses and calls to actions to support the campaign.

To help facilitate these discussions we have produced a facilitators guide that can be used in conjunction with the film. The guide aims to empower participants by allowing them to express their opinions so that they can learn from the film and from each other. We have made the Facilitators guide available for public download and it can be found at the link below.

Pleases don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions, it’s only through continued dialogue that we can grow and continue our battle for justice.

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MARIKANA SUPPORT CAMPAIGN PRESS RELEASE: THE FARLAM REPORT: HOSTILE TO WORKERS FROM THE OUTSET

The Farlam Report opens with a finding that squarely blames the strikers for the violence. By placing this upfront, Farlam sets the tone for what is to come:

“…the tragic events that occurred during the period 12 to 16 August 2012 originated from the decision and conduct of the strikers in embarking on an unprotected strike and in enforcing the strike by violence and intimidation, using dangerous weapons for the purpose.”

This statement is offered as a fact that we have to accept. But it is an opinion. There is no evidence to back it up. The Marikana Support Campaign considers this finding as a gross defamation of the miners.

At the same time, despite a run of evidence to the contrary, Farlam and his Commissioners exonerate Ramaphosa and other government ministers. Lonmin is substantially exonerated.

By tarnishing thousands of miners as being responsible for the violent acts of a few, it becomes possible to conclude that the police had reasonable grounds to shoot 17 miners at Scene 1.

During the Commission of Inquiry, senior SAPs officers committed perjury and wholesale fabrication of evidence. While SAPs is rightly castigated, the Commission’s findings are based on the ‘cock up’ theory of mismanagement and poor planning. The Marikana Support Campaign contends that this is insufficient. The evidence clearly points to an attack that was preplanned, and the direct result of pressure from the government.

In the coming months, the Marikana Support Campaign will be consulting widely on the form of an independent, civil society led, initiative that will seek to analyse the evidence presented before the commission. This will result in a published, authoritative report into the massacre at Marikana.

In the interim, taking the evidence that was presented to the Commission into full account, below are the minimal principal findings that the Farlam Commission should have made.

On 16 August 2012

  1. 17 miners at Scene 1 were murdered by SAPS officers, many using R5 machine gun rifles.
  2. There was no attempt by miners at Scene 1 to attack SAPs officers.
  3. SAPS officers hunted down and killed a further 17 miners at Scene 2. Many were executed whilst surrendering.
  4. 270 miners shot and injured at Scene 1 and 2, were the victims of attempted murder by SAPS officers.
  5. SAPS fabricated evidence at Scene 2 by planting weapons on dead miners.

On 13 August 2012

  1. There was an unprovoked attack on peaceful miners by SAPS causing death and chaos.
  2. SAPS is primarily responsible for the deaths of three miners, two police officers and the shooting and injuring of more than 20 miners and a police officer.
  3. One miner, Mr Sokanyile, was hunted down, targeted and executed by a SAPS officer 800 metres from the original scene.

On 11 August 2012

  1. Unarmed striking miners were attacked by members of the National

Union of Mineworkers. Two striking miners were shot in the back with firearms issued by NUM officials.

On Self-defense by strikers

  1. Following the attacks on the miners on 11th and 13th August, the    decision to carry spears and pangas to defend themselves against further attack was justified.

On Attempts to Negotiate

  1. The only party who consistently endeavored to negotiate was the striking miners. On each day, often on several occasions, the miners requested to meet with management, only to be rebuffed.

On Lonmin

  1. The evidence discloses that the primary purpose of the strategy adopted by Lonmin was to ensure that the strike was defeated quickly by SAPS, thus preserving the profitability of Lonmin. To this end Lonmin colluded throughout with SAPS.

On Ramaphosa, Mthethwa, Shabangu, NUM, Lonmin and SAPS

  1. The tragic events that occurred during the period 12 to 16 August 2012 originated from the decisions and conduct of the above parties in refusing to treat the miners as decent human beings and in enforcing such decisions by violence and intimidation, using dangerous weapons in particular the R5 machine gun rifle, capable of discharging 600 rounds per minute.
  2. This report would not be complete without a condemnation in the strongest terms of the violent manner in which the strike was to be broken.

Prosecutions and Suspensions

The Marikana Support Campaign fully endorses the Economic Freedom Fighters’ decision to open criminal cases against Cyril Rampaphosa, Nathi Mthethwa, Susan Shabangu, Riah Phiyega and Lonmin executives. This is in accordance with the damning evidence that exposes the ‘toxic collusion’ that took place to crush the strike that resulted in the killings and injuries.

Finally, the SAPS officers who murdered miners are still walking the streets of South Africa. They should be immediately suspended.

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Cyril Ramaphosa appeared at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry on 11 and 12 August and has now concluded giving evidence at the commission. Large crowds of mineworkers and protesters from the Marikana Support Campaign were present to hear this long awaited evidence.

Remember that it was Cyril Ramaphosa who wrote emails to cabinet ministers during the strike calling for ‘concomitant action’. Cyril Ramaphosa was the direct link between Lonmin, where he was a shareholder and non-executive director at the time of the strike, the cabinet, where he was a senior minister, and the police commissioner, over whom he held a superior position.

Footage from Miners Shot Down was used during his cross examination, mostly alluding to Ramaphosa’s role in the 1987 miners strike and his skills as a negotiator during troubled times. He failed to use these skills during the 2012 strike, choosing instead to call on the police and government to employ force against the strikers. At the time, the strikers were calling for talks with the company.

Read more about Ramaphosa’s testimony here on Mail&Guardian…

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Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will testify at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry this month. The provisional date for Ramaphosa’s testimony had been moved to the 11th and 12th of August. IOL reported the following on July the 3rd:

“In 2012, on the second day of the public hearings, Dali Mpofu SC, for the miners wounded and arrested in the August 16 shooting, said Ramaphosa had condemned the protests in an e-mail. He described them as criminal acts, and suggested “concomitant action”.

“This (e-mail) was on 15 August at 2.58pm, exactly 24 hours before the people were mowed down on that mountain,” Mpofu said at the time.

“He advanced that what was taking place were criminal acts and must be characterised as such. In line with this characterisation (Ramaphosa said) there needs to be concomitant action to address the situation,” said Mpofu.”

Read more from this article on IOL and keep following the Marikana Commission of Inquiry closely.

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“Former Police minister Nathi Mthethwa appeared for his second and final day at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry on Tuesday. In the tense, frenetic-paced cross-examinations he was accused of exerting political influence on the operations of the police, lying to the Commission, and failing to provide leadership and accountability. Mthethwa, of course, denied the allegations. GREG NICOLSON reports.”

Another great article by The Daily Maverick, keeping us informed about new developments at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry. Read the full article here

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“Former police minister Nathi Mthethwa was confident on his first day at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry. His testimony is crucial in understanding whether political influence played a role in the deaths of 44 people. Mthethwa, now arts and culture minister, has been steadfast in his defence, but can he keep it up?” By GREG NICOLSON.

An insightful article by Greg Nicolson, published in The Daily Maverick. Read the full article here

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Amandla!

Have you read Amandla! Magazine, “South Africa’s new progressive magazine standing for social justice”. Their latest issue is now available for download here.

Amandla is a multiple left public communications initiative to provide a platform to encourage alternative thinking and catalyse alternative action by mass-based movements inspired by egalitarian ideals and fully democratic practices towards fundamental social transformation.

As a progressive media and communication initiative, Amandla exists to create a platform and progressive space that facilitates critical analysis and open dialogue.

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