As South Africa marks its annual commemoration of the tragic Sharpeville Massacre that occurred on March 21st, 1960, as Human Rights Day, we remember a more recent event that shocked the nation and has caused a series of uproar and protests as a result.
The Marikana miners’ strike took place at a mine owned by Lonmin in the Marikana area, close to Rustenburg, in August 2012.
What resulted was a series of violent incidents between the South African Police Service, Lonmin security, the leadership of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and strikers themselves, which resulted in the deaths of 44 people, the majority of whom were striking mineworkers killed on 16 August. At least 78 additional workers were also injured on 16 August. The total number of injuries during the strike remains unknown. In addition to the Lonmin strikers, there has been a wave of wildcat strikes across the South African mining sector. [x]
Above is a clip from the recently released ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ that partially demonstrates what took place in Sharpeville on this day in 1960.
In this video, Archbishop Desmond Tutu discusses his reaction to the heinous event that took place 54 years ago at one point saying, “I remember it as a moment where you realized that black life was cheap”.
Further reading & viewing: Robert Sobukwe - founder & leader of the Pan-African Congress in South Africa that led the march against Pass Laws in Sharpeville.
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