Nzimande: Study miners' conditions

2012-08-23 18:14

  Johannesburg - Closer scrutiny of living conditions in mines will help to improve conditions for mining communities, SA Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande said on Thursday.

"In all of the understandable fury (and) anger, very few have pointed to the history and current trajectory of the mining industry in South Africa as the principal culprit in all this," he said about last week's shooting in Marikana.

"This is not for purposes of laying blame for the sake of it, but to contribute towards a better understanding of the totality of the reasons behind this tragedy."

Nzimande, who is also the minister of higher education and training, was sending condolences to the families of people killed in violent protest action at Lonmin [JSE:LON] platinum mine, in Marikana in the North West.

Police opened fire on a group of striking mine workers last Thursday, killing 34 of them and wounding 78. In the preceding week, 10 people - including two police officers and two security guards - died in protests.

Nzimande said the SACP acknowledged the leadership shown by President Jacob Zuma in appointing a judicial commission of inquiry and the ministerial team.

Zuma announced in Pretoria on Thursday that retired Supreme Court of Appeal judge Ian Farlam would chair the judicial commission and would be joined by advocate Bantubonke Tokota and advocate Pinglar Hemra.

They would conclude their work within four months.

Nzimande said the SACP would make its own submissions to the commission.

It viewed this as an opportunity to consider and analyse the nature of the mining industry in the country, Nzimande said.

"This incident should send a very clear message that there is a sustained attack and offensive against Congress of SA Trade Unions in particular," he said.

"The SACP has also correctly warned that where our detractors and enemies sense some divisions amongst our ranks, then they always tend to go on the offensive."

Nzimande said the response from the government indicated that it was concerned about the deaths.

"Of course, this does not and must not mean that we do not have a responsibility as a country to constantly focus on the transformation of the police," he said.

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  • jacqui.c.baumgardt - 2012-10-04 23:33

    Story on TV news: 1 miner says I have a wife, 8 children and a girlfriend who has disappeared because I have no money. Uh - duhhh!

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