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Publication Details

Reference
Hattingh, Shawn (2012) What the Marikana Massacre tells us.  : 1-20.

Summary
The sight of policemen brutally gunning down striking mineworkers at Marikana was truly galling. At the very least 300 rounds of live ammunition were fired at workers (and not only those seen on TV) by the police using automatic assault rifles in a military style operation: the infamous consequences being 34 workers killed and perhaps as many as 87 injured, with some workers still unaccounted for. Many of the workers were also reportedly shot in the back and some executed. To add insult to injury, and with what was clearly some relish, the police arrested 260 workers in the aftermath. This often even involved policemen literally sticking the boot into injured workers. Allegations have also subsequently emerged that 190 of these arrested workers were tortured, some for up to 3 days, whilst being held in surrounding police stations. One worker also claims that he was taken to a room on Lonmin’s property, who owns the mine at Marikana, and handcuffed to a chair and beaten with a rubber pipe by police in a bid to extract information about the ‘leaders’ of the wildcat strike. Not to be outdone in callousness, Lonmin issued an ultimatum that unless the rest of the striking workers returned to work by 7am on the 21st of August disciplinary actions would be taken against themi. The strikers though have ignored Lonmin’s threats, and at the time of writing, most remained out on strike.

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