DYING FOR A RAISE
by Mumia Abu-Jamal [col. writ. 8/31/12]
© ’12 Mumia Abu-Jamal
The Massacre in Marikina, South Africa, of striking mine workers has caused dismay and disbelief the world over. …
Thirty four miners were slaughtered, and 78 others wounded by a hail of police gunfire.
How could this be in today’s South Africa?
How could this happen in a post- apartheid South Africa?
How could this happen in a predominantly Black government, led by the African National Congress (ANC)?
The spectacle tells the tale: black police, clad in blue overall uniforms, were called by the Lonmin Mine Co. officials, to stand against Black miners holding a wildcat strike demanding better wages and improved working conditions.
Miners at Lonmin Platinum are paid on average R4, 000 (=$480 U.S.), and were demanding a raise to R12, 500 (=$1,500) per month. These strikers, several thousand rock-drill operators, were trying to live and raise families on $120 –per week!
When they refused police orders to disperse from a nearby hill, the cops attacked them with automatic weapons fire.
Who do you think they worked for: their people – or the mine operators and owners?
Whom did they serve and protect?
In Marikana, in South Africa’s North West Province, lies a mine boasting one of the world’s richest veins of platinum. Indeed, South Africa is home to some 80% of the world supply of platinum, one of the world’s most precious and strategic metals.
And striking miners are dying for a pittance, while owners and investors are making billions!
The cops of capitalism serve those who can afford their services.
Marikana, North West Province, South Africa joins Sharpville for police and state massacres of Africans. Just as Sharpeville sparked resistance, let Marikana now do the same!
–© ’12 maj