Press Release: Sunday 19 August 2012
Released by: Justice Now for the Marikana Strikers and Communities – ad hoc support group
On Wednesday 22 August, civil society organisations - faith-based, non-governmental and community-based organisations, social movements and trade unions - will initiate an independent civil society-led inquiry into the massacre of more than 34 mineworkers at Marikana.
The launch will take place at a public meeting to be held this Wednesday. The meeting will hear testimony from Marikana workers, affected women and leaders of community organisations. We will hear their account of developments leading up to the massacre and a description of how the police slaughtered their loved ones and comrades. This version of events differs from those that have prevailed in the media. It offers the perspective of those who were attacked without mercy, rather than the one provided by TV cameras located behind police lines and from interviews with police and union officials
Speakers will also bear witness to the conditions of work on the mines, and the grinding poverty of the communities of Wonderkop and Marikana. These are communities whose lands have been taken, whose labour feeds the mines, and whose basic needs for water, housing, energy and health services have not been met by government or the mines. These are the stories to be told, and these are the stories that will help us understand the desperate struggles of the striking mineworkers for a better life that has been promised by democratic government and never honoured.
On Monday 20 August at 12.00 civil society organisations will protest outside Gauteng SAPS Regional Command. This will provide an opportunity to express the outrage about the police killings that is widely felt in South Africa and around the world.
We call on all interested organisations , individuals and members of the press to participate in both events.
MONDAY 20 AUGUST, 12 PM: Picket outside Gauteng SAPS Regional Command, assemble at corner of Victoria Ave and Empire Road, Braamfontein. Bring banners and placards
WEDNESDAY, 22 AUGUST, 5:30PM: Public meeting and launch of civil society led inquiry into the massacre. Conference Room 1 and 2 at the School of Hospitality and Tourism, Bunting Road Campus, University of Johannesburg.
A press briefing is planned for Tuesday 21 August. Further details to follow.
The Marikana Massacre – Never Again!
Issued by Justice Now For Marikana Strikers ad group Many CBO, CSOs, Human Rights and Social Justice Groupings including the Benchmarks Foundations have pledged their support for this meeting and the initiative it seeks to launch.
Contact Numbers of spokespersons
Samantha Hargreaves 083 384 0088, Jayshree Pather 082 413 3652 , Rehad Desai 083 997 9204