Fin24

Godsell: Marikana violence outrageous

2012-09-11 07:38

Johannesburg - The violence at Marikana was "outrageous" and the killers needed to be held accountable, Business Unity SA chairperson Bobby Godsell said on Monday.

"In an apartheid South Africa with no (democratic) constitution you can say that violence was regrettable and understandable," he said during a discussion at the Gordon Institute of Business Science in Johannesburg.

"In a constitutional democracy, (violence) is not understandable. It is completely outrageous.

"People must be held accountable for those murders."

For South Africa to fix what happened at the Lonmin [JSE:LON] platinum mine in Marikana, North West, wage negotiation processes had to change.

"We have to make wage negotiation work. It has to be inclusive. We have to include people in the negotiation process.

"It has to deliver outcomes that people find broadly acceptable."

A panel consisting of business leaders, economists and political commentators discussed what led to the deaths of 44 people, most of them striking Lonmin employees, in August.

Executive head of joint venture operations at Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS], Vishnu Pillay, said South Africa needed successful communities to prevent the Marikana tragedy.

Pillay said it was clear there was a link between the social problems faced by Lonmin workers and what the workers wanted from management.

The tragedy, he added, taught the mining community that it needed to conduct its business differently.

Pillay said both the mining company and unions had "in some way" failed the mineworkers in Marikana.

On August 16, police fired on a group of protesters near Lonmin's Marikana mine, killing 34 and wounding 78. Another 10 people were killed in the preceding week, including policemen and two security guards.

SA Chamber of Mines CEO Bheki Sibiya echoed some of Pillay's views.

"Mining is a microcosm of what happens in South Africa. Because it is a microcosm we find that a lot of problems which are happening around (the country) are happening in the mining industry as well."

The fact that most of the 260 people who were arrested on August 16 did not work at Lonmin showed the Marikana tragedy was underpinned by social issues.

Sibiya urged all parties involved in Marikana to stop blaming one another.

"Let's hang our heads in shame and fix the problem."

Most of the panellists also criticised he inefficiency of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac), a forum where government, labour, business, and community organisations negotiate.

"I don't go to Nedlac because it's a waste of time. I don't go there because the government officials who were supposed to be making it successful decided not to attend," Sibiya said.

Chief executive of Pan-African Capital Holdings, Iraj Abedian, pinned the blame on the nation's failure to practice what it preached.

Abedian said everyone knew the mining sector had not complied with its social responsibility targets, and nothing had been done about it.

The government and society had done little about structural risks in the mining sector.

"In economics if you do not manage the structural risk and you hope that it will go away... it bounces back," he said.


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Comments
  • Harold Chisimba - 2012-09-11 07:58

    Ihope union leaders will be the first to face the fury of mama justice.

      ian.pople.sa - 2012-09-11 20:41

      Most of the panellists also criticised he inefficiency of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac), a forum where government, labour, business, and community organisations negotiate. "I don't go to Nedlac because it's a waste of time. I don't go there because the government officials who were supposed to be making it successful decided not to attend," Sibiya said. and that about sums it all up

  • ashwin.leckram - 2012-09-11 08:01

    Is Bobby talking of the killers of two policemen who were hacked to death or the security guards who were burnt to death in 2 cars or the rushing protesters with weapons in their hands?

      buzz.bar.16 - 2012-09-11 17:08

      Ok Bobby the brave, next time there are a couple of hundred armed miners with a bloodlust in their mind intent on killing policemen, we can put you at the front of the police barricade with a gun. Lets see how long until you open fire (or don't...) to save your hide!

  • herman.heil - 2012-09-11 08:02

    Start by getting rid of the communist practice of having unions. Let every worker negotiate his or her salary. Then, get rid of the anc, as they are more useless to SA than a drugged mother is to her child.

  • patrick.saunders123 - 2012-09-11 08:03

    they won't be. They have blanket protection from cosatu which, despite its outward appearance as an amalgamation of trade unions, acts as an unelected ruling party.

  • osmaseko - 2012-09-11 08:04

    Abedian said everyone knew the mining sector had not complied with its social responsibility targets, and nothing had been done about it. What are the mines doing in their respective communities? The cops need to be jailed as well.....Think about the people first then proits...no modern slavery will be tolerated

      herman.heil - 2012-09-11 08:10

      You must be a yoof leek leader......

      osmaseko - 2012-09-11 08:14

      mines have a social responsibility.....for a company to get mining rights they must agree to social responsibility however they are not doing anything for the communities....this is a fact

      osmaseko - 2012-09-11 08:57

      ClintonMatthews2.0 - this has nothing to do with leadership and voting but the moral values on the mining companies

      heathway.master - 2012-09-11 09:56

      SA is now being rated as a country with the worst labour - employer relationship in the world, and having the most militant and demanding labour force. The government is introducing new legislation whereby firms will be fined 2% of annual earnings if found guilty of transgressing any labour legislation. Second offence will result in a fine of 10% of annual earnings. All contract labour has been made illegal. In response all industry is mechanising as much as is possible to reduce human labour. Fin News 24 indicates that SA is now entering a labour recession period, as jobs have been lost continuously as the year progresses. With this background I wonder if Zuma's priority of creating more jobs for the unemployed masses is really going to be achieved.

      anakin.skyvader - 2012-09-11 12:10

      Another idiot from the "break and burn" brigade movement. "WE DEMAND...whistle whistle...WE DEMAND...whistle whistle"

  • piet.viljoen.98 - 2012-09-11 08:10

    No you idiot! The double murder on an elderly white couple on a Trompsburg farm is OUTRAGIOUS!

      trix.duvenage - 2012-09-11 18:08

      Ag Pietie..... kalmeer my vriend. Daar was a meer as 300 moorde net in EEN van die nege provinsies sedert 1994. The death of any white farmer does not even get in newspapers any more. We are in a country where our crime history is worse than Sadam Hossein's reign before he was stopped by America. The only difference is: South Africa is a little 3rd world country that nobody really knows about and nobody really cares about. It is our own problem however as WE wanted a republic. If we were still under Brittain control everything would have been under control. But OUR freedom is costing us dearly. Not because we were not GOOD enough to be on our own as a republic. but because after we became a republic the whole world has forgotten about us. I still feel most of the farm murders can or rather could have been prevented if people are more awake. What in hell are two elderly people doing alone on a farm?? Where are their children and other family? We ALL know about farm murders and that the government are not INTERESTED in bringing murderers to trail and yet we are CARELESS as if we WANT to be attacked..... There are hundreds of ways to prevent this kind of murders but we are eithe too brave or too stupid to look after ourselfs and after our elderly people.

  • larry.piggott1 - 2012-09-11 08:16

    Start with the Union Boss's and take it from there. Supply local employment by building a Jail for them in Marikana.

  • witwolf.digter - 2012-09-11 08:16

    "A panel consisting of business leaders, economists and political commentators discussed what led to the deaths of 44 people, most of them striking Lonmin employees, in August." MALEMA is what happened....

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-09-11 08:25

    The violence started with an illegal strike and criminal behaviour of the miners. The unions could have prevented this.

  • mlungisi.kunene - 2012-09-11 08:41

    I share the same sentiments!

  • toofaan.monsoon - 2012-09-11 09:02

    Negotiation is fine, but it should be done with pen and paper, P and L statements and reach a realistic compromise for all. Pangas and Knobkerries and intimidation have no place in negotiations.

  • lenox.ntlantsana - 2012-09-11 09:13

    We did not see much of this on the way to Polokwane, could this be the way to Mangaung?

  • phae.rayden - 2012-09-11 09:28

    Could big business be gaining a conscience at last? If they get it right there might be hope for the planet after all.

  • andrew.blaine.9 - 2012-09-11 09:33

    I think one should read a little history and check on LONRHO in Zambia and Tanzania during the 1950s and 60s. It will provide some interesting background that adds to the understanding of the current situation.

  • lehlohonolopetrus.mphuthi - 2012-09-11 16:05

    Quote 'mining sector had not complied with its social responsibility targets, and nothing had been done about it'. We also having leaders whom you are not sure if they wearing'entrepreneur in making - future Motsepes hat OR communities leaders representing aspirations of the majority'. We are slowly turning a banana republic because there is no clear vision. If we need to Nationalise or Public-Private way; let it come afore put it on the table People of the South will discuss and evaluate. ANC is taking decisions on behalf of the entire Nation and that seems with lots of interests from their leadership the ship is sinking. Not to condone what the mine workers did before the police shootings; BUT here we living an evidence of a ticker-bomb just waiting to exploud SAME as Service Delivery protests causing unrests. No third force OR Malema inciting what; take serious view of the anger People of the South emit and be responsible ANC led government.

  • trix.duvenage - 2012-09-11 17:49

    Shortly after the elections in '94 there was a strike at one of the Stilfontein mines in NW. A fiend of our family used to work at that mine and he was like a father to the miners at the campong. Came payday and the miners were protesting and refusing anybody at the kompong, our friend said that they know him very well and he volunteerd to speak to the people. THree hours later he was not only stone dead. He was litterally chopped to pieces with pangas and his remains were put in a black refuge bag....only about 6 cm square of the skin of his bold head was recognisable. I mention this incident so our man Bobby can understand that only policemen with less that 2 brain cells would have outwaited their destiny at the mine. 34 Peole died to indicate that policemen are getting tired of being litterally slaughtered. Nobody with a brain would have stand still and wait to be killed. The striking mine workers meant serious businessand only shooting policemen could bring the unrest under control. Since the strikers did not have rubber pangas and ragdolls to attack with the police had to use live amo. Surely this is not hard to comprehend.

  • trix.duvenage - 2012-09-11 17:55

    One more thing: I wonder what lord Bobby's comment would have been [and also JULIE-ARSES] if the striking miners killed 43 [or more] polimen?? South Africa is indeed a funny place. When for instance apartheid or racism can be connected to crime it all depends WHO committed the crime. I for one will not be surprised if in the end of the day some or the other 'wrong coloured' officer will have to carry the blame for the dead miners and the day Malemma can proof such an act there will indeed be a national strike.

  • petronella.dutoit.1 - 2012-09-17 01:04

    "The fact that most of the 260 people who were arrested on August 16 did not work at Lonmin showed the Marikana tragedy was underpinned by social issues" such as imported labor exploited by the labor contractor must top-up their income by means of criminal deeds against the local communities?

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