Living in the aftermath of Marikana

Body map
By Nombulelo Ntonga

The widows of Marikana still struggling for Justice and Restitution

It is nearly four years since the massacre of mine workers in Marikana and the families of the 34 miners killed have still not received restitution. Justice was meant to be served by the Farlam Commission but its findings blamed the police for pulling the triggers and exonerated the political heads that authorised the violence. Lonmin, the world’s third largest platinum mining company that owns the Marikana mine, continues extracting platinum from the ground there while the families of the slain men have been thrown into poverty.

ZUMA MUST GO! (A discussion document for the United Front)

All in all, the present period is pleasant. History is evidently bracing itself to take again a new start, and the signs of decomposition everywhere are delightful for every mind not bent upon the conservation of things as they are. (Marx to Lassalle, 31st May 1858)

The constitutional court in its findings on the Nkandla affair was clear that President Jacob Zuma had failed to implement or challenge legally the recommendations of the Public Protector on irregular expenditure at his Nkandla residence which amounted to a failure to “uphold, defend and respect the Constitution”. The court also found that Parliament had failed in its duty to exercise its oversight role and to hold the executive accountable. In terms of our constitutional democracy this is a very serious transgression and undermines the basis of our democracy which many have fought and died for. Instead of doing the honourable thing and stepping down, President Zuma offered a half-hearted apology and continues to mislead the nation by insisting that he was prepared to pay for the upgrades as soon as they were determined by the correct authority. In this whole episode Cabinet Ministers and the ANC has played the role of covering up for and protecting the President, to the point that the entire ANC representation in Parliament voted as a bloc to prevent the impeachment of the President. This has prompted broad outrage and the focus has now shifted to an extra-parliamentary protest campaign to pressurise for the removal of Zuma.

Municipal workers continue their struggle against corruption

A group of the former Midrand municipal workers at the 19 March 2014 march to Nedlac led by NUMSA

As Pikitup workers continue their strike against the Johannesburg rubbish removal company, the knots of a much older labour dispute could be loosened this Thursday. A protest led by former municipal workers will be calling for the Mayoral Committee of Johannesburg to reopen the case of their dismissal from the Midrand municipality in 1994. They were dismissed for taking action against corruption in the now-defunct municipality, losing even their pensions in the process.

We speak to NACTU about worker unity

The 1st of Mayday or workers as it is known in South Africa is fast approaching, and in light of this we spoke to Narius Moloto the Secretary General of the National Council of Trade Unions NACTU. He strong believes that “May Day will remain a workers day Globally and locally” the day workers should reflect on their daily challenges.