The Marikana Massacre 10 Years Later

Andy Higginbottom, who was the Secretary of the City of London Anti-Apartheid Group for many years in the 1980s has asked us to help publicize this event being organised by the Marikana Solidarity Collective.

Sunday 26 June 2022, 15.00 – 17.30 (BST) 

The Marikana Massacre 10 Years Later: Spotlight on British Imperialism and Neo-Colonialism in South

Cecil Gutzmore, “The Non-Revolutionary Armed Struggle of Nelson Mandela.”
Andrew Feinstein, “Inside BAE’s Arms Deal with the ANC Government.”
Nonhle Mbuthuma, “ANC Freedom Charter Promises and Realities, AmaMpondo Resistance to MRC and Shell.”
Andy Higginbottom, “Is ‘White Monopoly Capital’ just rhetoric? Neocolonialism, Britain and South Africa Today.”
Thumeka Magwanqwana (Sinethemba Women’s Organisation), “Fine Words but Foul Deeds by Sibanye Stillwater.” 

On August 16th 2012, 34 mineworkers on strike for a living wage were shot dead by the police in two massacres at Marikana platinum mine in South Africa, owned by Lonmin, a British mining company. Another 78 suffered life-changing injuries. 

The police unlawfully arrested, and tortured 270 of the striking mineworkers and charged them with common purpose, accusing them of causing the deaths of their colleagues. 

Despite a commission of inquiry costing millions, not a single police officer has been charged for the killing. Nor has there been any reckoning for the institutions of state that were in command. There has been a total lack of justice. Why has state repression continued against the working class? 

This specific case brings fundamental questions about the nature of post-Apartheid state and politics that need to be addressed. 

Founded in 1909 as Lonrho (the London and Rhodesian Mining and Land Company), Lonmin’s formation is entangled in the history of European settler colonial expansion across southern Africa. By 1945 Lonrho was the biggest company in a country ruled by just 6% of its population, and its ruthless manager was known as ‘Rhodesia’s Uncrowned King.’ 

10 years on from the Marikana Massacre, Lonmin has sold the mine to Sibanye Stillwater. One of its major shareholders has become the President of South Africa, while the communities in Marikana continue to struggle for justice and reparations. 

To remember the Marikana Massacre accurately after another decade of injustices, the Marikana Solidarity Collective in London believes it necessary to critically re-interrogate the question of neo-colonialism and British imperialism in southern Africa. During this public webinar on Sunday 26th June, the anniversary of the Freedom Charter, interventions from a range of speakers will trace the ongoing plunder of natural resources by white monopoly capital, the role of pivotal state institutions inherited from the colonial state—including the police, military and prison—as well as the persistent defiance and revolutionary spirit of the African masses.  This public discussion has been organised by the Marikana Solidarity Collective, including members from the London Mining Network, Women of Colour Global Women’s Strike, Pan-Afrikan Society Community Forum, in collaboration with comrades in Marikana and Azania. Please join the discussion! 

About Gavin Brown

Professor of Political Geography and Sexualities University of Leicester
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