A Black Perspective12 012  A14, 201

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August 25, 2012

The Marikana Massacre

Image: A South African policeman gestures in front of some of the dead miners after they were shot in a confrontation outside the Lonmin platinum mine, near Rustenburg,, Aug.16, 2012. 

            Initially, this article was to be titled, " The Lonmin Mine Massacre ".  However, Lonmin PLC does not bear the ultimate responsibility for the events that occurred on August 16, 2012.  The ultimate responsibility for the massacre belongs to the nation of South Africa and, particularly, to the Black People of South Africa.  Lonmin PLC is merely a symptom of a pervasive disease that threatens Blacks around the globe.

Lonmin PLC


            Lonmin PLC (Public Limited Company) was incorporated in 1909 in the United Kingdom.  Lonmin's base of operation of platinum mining is in the Bushveld Complex of South Africa.  In 2010 South Africa accounted for 77% of the world's production of platinum.

Lonmin is a corporation whose responsibility is to its stockholders.  Theoretically, a corporation is supposed to be amoral.  That is to say that the entity is neither good or bad.  The underlying purpose of a corporation is to make a profit for its stockholders.  So, instead of being amoral, the morality of a corporation is merely further defined, profit is good, loss is bad.  Regardless of any altruistic facades that are displayed, the bottom line of corporations is profit and loss.  Corporations must be recognized for what they are.  The people must protect themselves from corporations, just as they would from any other predator.

The Dispute

            On August 10, 2012 the rock drillers at the Lonmin mine went on a wildcat strike.  They were striking over low pay.  Miners were forced to live in shantytowns, under very poor living conditions.  Their abodes were shacks with no electricity.  The children were plagued with chronic illnesses and lived with constant sewage spills.  The Bench Marks Foundation, which monitors mining practices, commented that " The benefits of mining are not reaching the workers....".

The strike was initiated after antagonism and violence between two unions.   The one was the African National Congress backed National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).  The other was its emerging rival, Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).  In the days leading to August 16, 2012 between 10 and 16 people died from the ensuing violence, including 2 police officers.

The Massacre


            On August 16, 2012  the South African Police Service (SAPS) shot and killed 34 protestors at the Lonmin mine at Marikana, South Africa.  Another 78 protestors were injured.  These slayings were the most by SAPS since the Sharpeville Massacre.  The Sharpeville massacre occurred during the apartheid era.  The police claim that they were attacked by the protestors with spears, machetes and clubs.  The protestors contend that they were merely fleeing a tear gas assault perpetrated by SAPS.  The difference between the massacre at Marikana and the massacre at Sharpeville is that in the one case Whites were killing Blacks, while in the other case Blacks were killing Blacks.  White supremacist racism was the underlying cause in both incidents.

The Responsibility


            The truly ignorant and those with a self serving agenda will assert that as the Marikana massacre was Black on Black violence, racism was not involved.  These are the same people who would claim that the Trayvon Martin murder was not racism because George Zimmerman was Hispanic.  When racism is as entrenched in the global culture as is White supremacist racism, the colors of the victims and the perpetrators are immaterial.  Although racism is a compelling factor, the responsibility for the Marikana massacre lies squarely on the shoulders of the Black South Africans.

In 1994 the first elections with universal suffrage was held in South Africa.  South African Blacks had
finally liberated themselves from the yoke of apartheid.  The White supremacists congratulated the Blacks on obtaining the all powerful "vote".  Unfortunately, the Blacks bought the charade, hook, line and sinker.  Whereas they did have the vote, they did not have access to the wealth of their nation.  Predictably, nothing changed.  Blacks remained at the bottom of the socio-economic barrel.  Blacks thought that by obtaining the vote, the fight was over.  Universal suffrage was just the beginning of the
struggle to wrest the control of their nation from the White supremacists.

Blood, sweat and tears were expended to gain this first step.  Too often, combatants are just worn out and hollow window dressing looks like victory.  A quick example is Nelson Mandela.  After spending 27 years in prison, he was elected President of South Africa.  He ended up as a figurehead, a symbol, only good to put a face on the trickery of the established power.  Had Nelson Mandela remained a true warrior for equality, he would still be in prison.

Because Blacks were tricked, because they were worn out, because they gave up, Blacks must bear the responsibility for the Marikana  massacre.

The Chinese Option

            China is steadily supplanting the United States as the world's foremost economy.  Naturally, they are eyeing Africa as it is the world's  richest continent.  The United States and western civilization are on a downturn as far as world domination is concerned.  They are able to destroy but they cannot occupy.  Africa has the opportunity to throw off the colonial chains of oppression.


The Chinese, like most Peoples (excluding Blacks), are nationalistic.  They come to Africa seeking resources for the betterment of China.  This can be dealt with on a business level.  Africans of the Motherland and the Diaspora possess expertise in any field known to man.  Africa must unite and deal with the rest of the world on equal footing. Africa must be for Africans of the Motherland and the Diaspora.  No longer can Africa ignore her progeny.  No longer can Africa be both the supply house and the joke of the world.

Random Thoughts

'Random Thoughts' for August 25, 2012 were submitted by Lee Thrower III. These are thoughts from his perspective.

"If I am now known as African American, then White people will be known as Caucasian American.  You make your rules, I make mine.  I personally prefer to be called a Black man.  That is my preference.  Fuck the cultural identity crisis.  THERE IS , AND NEVER HAS BEEN ANYTHING WRONG WITH BEING BLACK!"

Just asking..... Has the African National Congress become an elitist organization?

  A Black Perspective  

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