SABC News - Political parties debate the Lonmin massacre:Tuesday 21 August 2012

Political parties debate the Lonmin massacre

Tuesday 21 August 2012 15:39


34 mineworkers were killed during the Marikana Lonmin mine incident

34 mineworkers were killed during the Marikana Lonmin mine incident(SABC)

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa says the possibility of careful planning behind the shooting of Lonmin mineworkers at Marikana, cannot be ruled out.

In his address in Parliament, Holomisa said: "One wonders whether a plan to ambush the workers had not been carefully crafted, because by running towards the exit, the workers seemed to have walked right into a police trap."

"Sadly, however, Marikana massacre type incidents are here to stay, unless we do away with the deployment of people with no professional police background with senior SAPS levels, command juniors with military training."

Joining in on the debate, Democratic Alliance (DA) Parliamentary Leader Lindiwe Mazibuko called on Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, leaders of the two unions at Lonmin and the CEO of Lonmin Mine to resign. Mazibuko says the DA is concerned that no one seems to be taking political responsibility for the massacre.

"We need accountability now, the Minister of Police, the secretaries general of Armscor, the National Union of Mineworkers and the CEO of Lonmin should carefully consider their positions and in our view, offer their resignations. Their position is untenable."

ANC Chief Whip in Parliament, Mathole Motshekga, said the tragedy at the Marikana Lonmin Mine is an example of how cheap labour continues to exist in the mining sector. Motshekga says the tragedy must be seen in the context that the mainstay of the mines was and still is cheap labour, cheap black labour.

According to Motshekga, a typical day at the Lonmin Mine can be characterised as such, "Every single day the drill operators are expected to drill though 30 metres of rock. The tunnel is only 3.3 metres tall."

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