Explosive film exposes Marikana tragedy

Explosive film exposes Marikana tragedy

2014-03-04 10:51

Cape Town - A damning indictment of the collaboration between Lonmin [JSE:LON] management, mine security and the police that led to the bloodshed at Marikana lies at the heart of an explosive film that premiered in Cape Town and Prague last night (Monday, March 3). 

What is deeply disturbing is the fact that four mortuary vans were ordered in advance and that ambulance services and emergency medical personnel were apparently kept out of the killing fields for an hour after the shooting had stopped.

Miners Shot Down had its world premiere at the One World Festival in Prague, Czech republic, and was screened as part of a meeting of social justice lawyers in Cape Town’s convention centre.
Film maker Rehad Desai was in Marikana filming for two days before August 16, 2012 when 34 striking miners were shot dead and more than 100 wounded. Since then he has interviewed survivors and other participants, including ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, a Lonmin director.  

Most importantly, he was able to access police and mine security film and other documentary evidence that has emerged during the still ongoing Farlam commission of inquiry into the tragedy.
The documents clearly reveal the attempts by Lonmin to criminalise the strike by rock drill operators without whose labour no mining can take place. One of the most damning of these is an email by Ramaphosa maintaining that the action of the miners is not a strike but a criminal act.
Film footage of the miners throughout the period leading up to the killings also reveals their pleas to negotiate with management about their pay and conditions. They had also armed themselves with sticks, spears and knives because they feared, with apparent justification, being attacked and killed.
The pleas to management were ignored, with the police taking on the role of negotiation, but only to order the miners, squatting on public ground, away from any mine facilities, to disarm and disperse. Throughout this time, there was close co-operation between mine management and security and the police.
After days of this stand-off and seeing paramilitary units appearing to ready their weapons, many of the strikers decided to return to their shantytown homes. Film footage reveals that police had, by that stage, effectively “boxed in” the miners and the scene was set for the worst bloodshed since the demise of apartheid.
As Desai has noted: “It is the first time that the ANC had turned their guns on the very people who brought them to power.”
An hour after the shooting had stopped police arrested 270 miners, some of them wounded and several now permanently disabled and, in a bizarre twist, charged them with the murder of their 34 workmates.
The charges were brought under the notorious doctrine of common purpose and the 270 are still under this indictment. As a result, lawyers acting for the families of the slain miners have demanded that the police responsible for the shootings be charged.  But, as former ANC intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils noted in a panel discussion after the Cape Town screening: “It is not only the foot soldiers [who should be prosecuted] but those who pulled the strings.”
Negotiations are now underway for the film to be screened in Holland, the Scandinavian countries and other parts of Europe, with the possibility that the BBC in Britain will flight it. Desai admits that he is not confident that any of the South African television channels will screen Miners Shot Down — and certainly not before the May 7 election.  However, a series of public and film club screenings has been planned.

Watch the trailer

  • Tyrone Kleiner - 2014-03-04 11:03

    What a crock !!!

      Janine Arulnathan - 2014-03-04 11:28

      I totally agree... I wonder if they filmed the part where the miners were coming at the cops with pangas and machetes:/

      Leon Abual-Qasim Mu?ammad Botha - 2014-03-05 00:20

      Go have a look at his facebook profile(facebook.com/rehad.desai); this is pure biased propaganda for NUMSA... Rehad Desai, you should be ashamed of the damage you are doing to our country; you are no better than the people(ANC) you are trying to fight...

      Eduard Homes - 2014-03-05 09:39

      Are you guys aware of the gangs at the mines??

  • Alwyn Malan - 2014-03-04 11:09

    Propoganda at it's finest! Strange still no mention of the two police men that died that day...and strange how the police are retreating whilst shooting. You don't retreat when you are on attack, you do when you are on the defensive. Just like Sharpeville, it's all lies and propoganda.

      Nceba Mbane - 2014-03-04 14:49

      Al Wine the 2 policemen did not die that day,but for days before.But whenever they died, does it then justify police coming and killing other people? If someone kills police in your street, does it mean police can come later and kill people(including you) in your street that they suspect look like the people, or knew the people that killed the police?

      Warren van Wyk - 2014-03-04 22:10

      What I find strange is that nobody mentioned there were cops armed to the teeth at that strike who believed in the exact same supernatural crap as those striking miners. Take a look at the media footage of the look on some of the cop's faces, it looks as if they believe an invisible army was about to attack them. The images clearly show they were absolutely crapping themselves.

      Thabo Mesha - 2014-03-05 06:26

      And very strange that the first gun shot, coming from a guy in the crowd with a revolver has suddenly disappeared. And the ridiculous R 12 500 p/m they demand. I know some graduates who don't earn that kind of money.These miners want to hold the country at gun point.

      Jon Low - 2014-03-05 08:03

      Graduates aren't a kilometre underground hauling a 22kg drill in 40C heat all day

      Theo Vorster - 2014-03-05 16:40

      Do not go to a gunfight with knives and spears read history of blood river

  • Mthokozisi Sniper Myende - 2014-03-04 11:23

    ....come the 7th of May, we shall ensure that the victims n all people of our African continent are healed n compensated by voting EFF to nationalize these mines

  • Stephan van Schalkwyk - 2014-03-04 11:27

    This video is taken out of context. Europeans and Americans will love this video because they still think it is apartheid in South Africa.

      Alan John Ingram - 2014-03-04 14:45

      @Stephan van Schalkwyk...but is still apartheid in SA where do you live!!!

  • Anwar Daniels - 2014-03-04 11:32

    Let there be justice

  • Yaj Chetty - 2014-03-04 12:03

    the damning truth on camera

  • Malcolm Hodgkinson - 2014-03-04 12:15

    It is amazing how the ANC blamed the apparheid government for the situation they were in and for sharpville. Now their own government turns on them when government money is involved. Now the ANC has the control of South Africa and when they stuff things up they run back to the European countries to feel sorry for them and fix the problem only to be chased away when things are fixed. So sad.

  • Carlo Rewan Booysen - 2014-03-04 12:34


  • Toofaan Monsoon - 2014-03-04 12:45

    No White Rabbit. No muti man. No dead cops and security guards. No context about how those weapons are taken to other violent strikes. I wouldn't say that the cops are blameless but it doesn't seem like a balanced view.

  • Prince Ramalia - 2014-03-04 13:16

    Greedy and love of money. Government killing its own people for the benefit of minority. ANC and trigger happy cops failed the nation

      Jon Low - 2014-03-05 08:10

      It was a deliberate state-sponsored mass murder in cold blood, orchestrated by Cyril Ramaphosa.

  • Chris Ndaba - 2014-03-04 13:24

    Sad indeed post apartheid massacre of epic proportions by the current government and its lame leadership on its fellow people.

  • Neil Brown - 2014-03-04 14:28

    Can they make such films about senseless farm killings as well?

      Elvis Stuurman - 2014-03-04 15:00

      No they won't because it's not politically correct!!!! Farmers usually has the wrong skin colour!!

      Jon Low - 2014-03-05 08:11

      Murders of farmers ate no more, nor no less, deplorable than the murder of miners, shopworkers or prostitutes.

      Tim Higgo - 2014-03-08 13:37

      The Oscar trial worldwide coverage. Why is this not treated with same level of diligence. Let the truth out, let respondents tell the world what happened. Don't censor a film by not showing it in RSA which might be relevant prior to elections. Expose publicly and allow those accused / supposedly complicit defend their positions, PUBLICLY

  • Setlola Mamabolo - 2014-03-04 14:38

    What is deeply disturbing is the fact that four mortuary vans were ordered in advance and that ambulance services and emergency medical personnel were apparently kept out of the killing fields for an hour after the shooting had stopped.

      Elvis Stuurman - 2014-03-04 14:59

      That is a bunch of crap!!!!

      Jon Low - 2014-03-05 08:12

      It was an orchestrated mass-murder.

  • Elvis Stuurman - 2014-03-04 14:58

    Oh Yes!! They are not MINERS, They are MINE WORKERS!

      Jon Low - 2014-03-05 08:13

      Miners are mine workers. Typists, bookkeepers and tea-ladies employed by the mine are mine workers too. But they're not miners.

  • Nathi Biyela - 2014-03-04 15:04

    Why not rubber bullets?

      Luarentinor Sluw Mcbirth - 2014-03-12 21:16

      I think is bcoz buffalo is more much better than those poor people who did fight 4 free-dom.

  • Oamis Lacad Ariedlac - 2014-03-04 15:05

    Lets not forget that these miners had burnt 2 mine securty personnel to death in their motor vehicles, then two policemen were hacked to death in perfroming their duties. Let's not forget the non striking mine workers that were also murdered. These actions are not indicative of peaceful protesters. They died to enrich AMCU Union leaders who made unrealistic promises.....

      Luarentinor Sluw Mcbirth - 2014-03-12 21:13

      N u must rem why 2 mine security n 2 police officers olso thos who were not @ thy strike were killed by those who were @ striking point.mostly!u must rem y those inoc pple were commitng thm selvs with thy illigal strike.

  • Shaun Westley - 2014-03-04 16:05

    Desai also happens to be spokesperson of the Marikana Support Campaign. Don't expect an objective piece.

  • Albertus Lombaard - 2014-03-04 16:22

    I love this film, it paints the ANC for what they represent, murder, rape and mayhem. Enjoy it suckers, enjoy it

  • Luzuko Mtoyi - 2014-03-04 19:50

    The sad part about all this is that Cyril might actually be President of this country in 2019....Talk about animal farm. How does he sleep at home? And how does he feel going to those widows and asking them to vote a Party that killed their husbands, made orphans out of their kids and left them destitute? This current ANC bunch is SICK. I am hoping that one day this catch up and they will asked to account blow by blow on who did what

  • Basie Roode - 2014-03-04 21:05

    Why did Terry Bell after more than 25yrs need to make and take the 'Apartheid" road. Brother, you need to adress more relevant happenings or start building a new vocabulary outside the old RSA....i wonder how old were you then...same as Malema????

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