Editorial note: 8th Anniversary of the Marikana Massacre

Dear readers of the newsletter,

Eight years ago, workers at the platinum mine operator LONMIN went on strike and demanded a meeting with their employer’s management to directly raise their concerns about decent pay for underground work.

After ten days, the South African police ended the strike with the first police massacre in post-apartheid South Africa, killing 34 men on 16 August 2012.


We remember

Molefi Osiel Ntsoele
Modisaotsile Van Wyk Sagalala
Nkosiyabo Xalabile
Babalo Mtshazi
John Kutlwano Ledingoane
Bongani Nqongophele
Cebisile Yawa
Mongezeleli Ntenetya
Henry Mvuyisi Pato
Ntandazo Nokamba
Bongani Mdze
Bonginkosi Yona
Makhosandile Mkhonjwa
Stelega Gadlela
Telang Vitalis Mohai
Janeveke Raphael Liau
Fezile David Saphendu
Anele Mdizeni
Mzukisi Sompeta
Thabiso Johannes Thelejane
Mphangeli Thukuza
Thobile Mpumza
Mgcineni Noki
Thobisile Zimbambele
Thabiso Mosebetsane
Andries Motlapula Ntsenyeho
Patrick Akhona Jijase
Julius Tokoti Mancotywa
Michael Ngweyi
Jackson Lehupa
Khanare Elias Monesa
Mpumzeni Ngxande
Thembinkosi Gwelani
Mafolisi Mabiya

They can’t have died for nothing. Full article

Marikana and South Africa: Eight years later

by Boniface Mabanza, Ecumenical Service on Southern Africa

The massacre eight years ago

Eight years have passed since 16 August 2012, the afternoon on which South African police, spurred on by hardliners in the government and mining sector, decided to violently end a long-running strike by Marikana miners: 34 miners fell victim to police targeting that afternoon.  Since then, 16 August has taken on a special significance in the collective memory, as Marikana represents the first and so far, the largest massacre of the political post-apartheid era, comparable in scale to the massacres of Sharpeville in 1960 and Soweto in 1976. Full article

Eight years on, still no justice

Deadly exchange of weapons and platinum profits continues between London and Marikana

By Daniel Selwyn, Marikana Solidarity Collective (London)

On Sunday, August 16th 2020, the eighth anniversary of the Marikana Massacre, a collective of organisations and individuals will gather outside the South African High Commission in London’s Trafalgar Square for a socially distanced vigil. We will remember the names and lives of the 34 platinum miners murdered by the South African police at the behest of London mining company Lonmin, a corporate descendant of Cecil Rhodes’ colonial occupation of southern Africa. We will hold space in one of the busiest parts of London, the belly of the British empire, to show our solidarity with the struggle for reparations and justice in Marikana. Full article

The Basic Income Grant (BIG) and its possible effects on Marikana

by Simone Knapp, Ecumenical Service on Southern Africa

Worldwide, the basic income is once again under discussion, whether as emergency security for a short time or as long-term security for the entire population. In its recently published report, the United Nations Development Agency UNDP, for example, proposes a temporary basic income grant for the poor to combat the corona pandemic. According to the UNDP report, the amount for an emergency BIG for the poor should be at least 650 to 1100 Rand per month per beneficiary. What would the introduction of a universal, unconditional basic income grant mean, for example, for the communities in the mine regions, for the mine workers and their families? Full article

No effect without liability

By Tilman Massa, Ethical Shareholders Germany

For too long, companies such as BASF have been half-heartedly complying with their human rights due diligence, because they did not have to fear any consequences. Now various initiatives for legal regulation at international, European and national level are entering decisive phases. The question of liability will show whether companies or civil society have been able to enforce their demands.

The German-African Business Association knows exactly which German ministry is best placed to assert its interests. It is not the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (AA) – which might be obvious for a foreign trade association –, but the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi). Full article

Webinar: BASF and supply chain responsibility

Webinar on the occasion of the BASF AGM 2020,
on June 25 2020, 14-16pm

In August of this year, the Marikana massacre in South Africa, in which 34 miners were killed, will mark it 8th anniversary. Since 2015, the “Plough back the Fruits” campaign has been trying to get BASF, which has close business ties with the operator of the Marikana platinum mine, to take responsibility: The chemical giant must take responsibility for both improving the working and living conditions of the miners and for past mistakes. BASF is constantly renewing its promise to take a closer look. Almost nothing has changed in Marikana in eight years. Full article