So. Africa: Farlam Commission report into Lonmin's Marikana mine massacre released

Marikana Commission

The report of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry into the massacre of 44 people at Lonmin's Marikana mine, has finally been released to the public. This comes three months after the report was submitted to the office of the South African President. The report has been received with mixed reactions. The report and related media coverage is provided below.

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Article
24 February 2018

So. Africa: President Ramaphosa says compensation pay-outs to the survivors of the Marikana massacre and the families of the mine workers shot dead by police should be finalised within the coming months

Author: Govan Whittles, Mail & Guardian (South Africa)

"Cyril’s atonement for Marikana: Compensation is nearly ready", 20 Feb 2018

Compensation payouts to the survivors of the Marikana massacre and the families of the mine workers who were shot dead by police should be finalised within the coming months, President Cyril Ramaphosa has said. “The government is making progress in continued engagements with legal representatives with the families, including reparations to them. This must be concluded in the coming months,” Ramaphosa told MPs on Tuesday, during his reply to the State of the Nation debate...“I’m determined to play whatever role I can in the process of healing and atonement for what happened in Marikana. In this I am guided by the needs and the wishes of the families of the 44 workers who lost their lives.”, [Ramaphosa said]...

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Article
27 March 2017

So. Africa: NGO says working with widows of Marikana massacre to tell their own story; says official account insulated Lonmin and govt. from accountability

Author: Keaton Allen-Gessesse, SERI litigation volunteer and Harvard Public Service Venture Fellow (USA)

"Who owns the story of South Africa’s Marikana massacre?", 22 March 2017

...The police, state, and Lonmin mine officials all shirked responsibility and publicly portrayed the miners as violent thugs on the attack. Their narrative prevailed and, unsurprisingly, insulated officials from accountability...But this “official” account wasn’t the whole story. And so this national tragedy highlights a social and legal imperative: We must fight to memorialize the people’s truth and disseminate that history as widely as possible...A short film, Bringing the Truth Home, documents efforts by the miners’ own communities and of the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) to do just that...For the past four years, these bereaved women have mobilized to demand the truth, accountability, and compensation for their deep loss...Now empowered with truth, the communities do not waver in their pursuit of accountability—legal, monetary, and social. For the families to be able to heal, they need public apologies, economic compensation, and prosecutions of those responsible...In telling their own story—so contrary to the “official” narrative—and sharing it widely, the affected families and communities regained ownership over the Marikana massacre.

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Article
19 December 2016

"A hollow ring to government’s statement on compensation"‚ say lawyers for Marikana victims

Author: Sipho Mabena, Herald Live (South Africa)

"A hollow ring to government’s statement on compensation‚ say lawyers for Marikana victims", 12 Dec 2016

Lawyers representing Marikana victims have called President Jacob Zuma’s update on compensation “hollow”‚ adopting a wait-and-see approach as the same announcement was made last year but nothing came of it. Lawyer for the injured and arrested mineworkers‚ Andries Nkome‚ said until the president issued a joint statement with the 275 injured and arrested miners‚ “South Africans should not be fooled into believing in government’s compassion”. He said‚ like always‚ the miners were not involved and get to know the decisions taken about them when they are announced in public. Nkome said Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa‚ the Lonmin executive‚ then police minister Thanti Mthethwa and former minerals and resources minister Susan Shabangu must also be arrested. “These are the people from who the whole tragedy played out. There must be consequences‚” he said...

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Article
19 December 2016

Govt. threatens to cancel Lonmin's licence over failure to meet housing commitment for employees; company says working to find a lasting solution

Author: Kevin Crowley, Bloomberg Markets (South Africa)

"Lonmin Threatened by South Africa Over Slow Response to Massacre", 12 Dec 2016

South Africa’s government threatened to remove Lonmin Plc’s mining license for its failure to build houses for its workers quickly enough, four years after employees were killed in a massacre near its Marikana mine...The government will consider taking tougher action to make sure the world’s third-largest platinum miner fulfils its commitments. “A compliant housing plan will be requested from Lonmin, failing which immediate action in the form of suspension or cancellation of the mining right will be taken,” the presidency said...Improving workers’ living conditions was a key recommendation of the Farlam Commission, set up to investigate the deaths of at least 44 people who were killed, mostly by police, during protests near Marikana in 2012. The government is willing to pay compensation to the victims’ families, the presidency said...Lonmin has noted the statement and is working with all levels of government to find “a lasting solution that will facilitate the development of different living conditions,” Abey Kgotle, the company’s executive vice president of human resources, said by phone...

 

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Article
19 December 2016

Govt. updates it will pay US$ 70million compensation for victims of Lonmin Marikana shootings

Author: Omogolo Taunyane, Talk Radio 702 (South Africa)

"Govt to fork out R1bil for Marikana victims, Popcru defends Phiyega", 12 Dec 2016

The Presidency has announced it will compensate the families of Marikana victims killed during the 11 August 2012 massacre close to Lonmin mine. Miner workers and police clashed on the day after wage negotiations. In a statement...President Jacob Zuma said the Department of Mineral Resources, SA Police Services (SAPS), Department of Labour and Department of Justice and Correctional Services will take action in accordance with the Farlam Commission of Inquiry...The department [of Mineral Resources] is also embroiled in a R1 billion lawsuit with those affected by the tragedy which was expected to be settled out of court earlier this year.

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Article
1 July 2015

So. Africa: 'Lonmin has broken law by dodging housing obligations' at Marikana, says analyst

Author: Lisa Chamberlain, Centre for Applied Legal Studies in Business Day (So. Africa)

'Lonmin has broken law by dodging housing obligations', 1 Jul 2015:…[T]he Marikana Commission of Inquiry is…to be commended...[because it] investigated Lonmin’s compliance with its housing obligations in terms of its SLP [Social Labour Plans]…[D]espite committing to building 5,500 houses…it in fact managed to build only three…[A]mendments to an SLP require approval by the mineral resources minister. No such approval was either sought nor given…The commission confirmed that it is unacceptable for Lonmin to try to hide behind the general economic crisis at the time, particularly when during the period in which Lonmin claims it could not afford its R665m housing scheme, it paid out more than $600m in dividends…Second, the commission drew a welcome link between…Lonmin’s failure to comply with its housing obligations…[and the resultant]…environment conducive to the creation of tension, labour unrest, disunity among its employees or other harmful conduct"…What is less commendable is…[that] the commission…finds that Lonmin has broken the law…yet no action on the part of Lonmin is recommended…

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Article
30 June 2015

So. Africa: Bench Marks Foundations calls for Lonmin to establish compensation fund for widows, orphans of miners killed at Marikana

Author: Bench Marks Foundation, NGOPulse (So. Africa)

'Farlam report raises issues about mining stability as a whole', 30 Jun 2015:The…long-awaited Farlam Commission [report], raises many serious questions relating to the mining industry as a whole, says the Bench Marks Foundation. It also shows how the Farlam Commission…failed…[to] pronounc[e]…on how Lonmin’s actions escalated the strike by changing the terminology from a labour dispute to a criminal issue and the importance of it using its links to…break the strike. John Capel, executive director for…Bench Marks Foundation…says…Lonmin are complicit…[in] serious human right abuses...“What is….worrying is that the chain of command present in mines during the massacre seems to have been glossed over…” says Capel…Lonmin needs to accept responsibility for the outcome on that fateful day…“In addition…the…company should not be allowed to evade proper material support and monetary compensation for the aggrieved parties,” says Capel. “We insist that a compensation fund be established by Lonmin to compensate the widows and orphans…based on lost wages to…families…

 

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Article
29 June 2015

So. Africa: Marikana miners blast Farlam Commission report

Author: Molaole Montsho, Mail & Guardian (So. Africa)

'Marikana miners blast Farlam Commission report', 29 Jun 2015: About 2 000 mineworkers braved the cold weather…to listen to their legal representative unpacking the commission’s report. One of the worker[s]….Xolani Nzuza, said the commission had taken three years and wasted their time…Mineworkers also felt the commission had unfairly found against the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu)…The Commission… found…that officials of Amcu had not exercised effective control over its members and supporters…[to] ensur[e]…that their conduct…did not endanger…others…Forty-four peple were killed in Marikana in 2012 following a violent, unprotected strike at Lonmin mines…President Jacob Zuma appointed retired Judge Ian Farlam to investigate the shooting…The lawyers for the miners and their families are to study the report and make a public statement about the next steps forward.

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Article
26 June 2015

So. Africa: Marikana report: key findings and recommendations

Author: Greg Nicholson, Daily Maverick (So. Africa)

'Marikana report: key findings and recommendations', 26 Jun 2015: [South African] President Jacob Zuma [has] finally released the report of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry…The report largely exonerates the key political figures accused of having a hand in the events leading to the Marikana massacre. Regarding Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was a non-executive director at Lonmin…“[t]he Commission is of the view that it cannot be said that Mr Ramaphosa was the 'cause of the massacre’,” the report reads…The report found Lonmin did not sufficiently try to engage with workers on ending the strike or protect its employees. Both the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) were found not to have full control over members, while the NUM wrongly advised workers on their ability to negotiate and encouraged members to work despite the risk of being killed…

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Article
25 June 2015

So. Africa: Lonmin has worked hard to become 'more open, transparent and mutually trustworthy' following Marikana, says CEO

Author: Ahmed Areff, News24 (So. Africa)

'We have worked hard to improve conditions', 25 Jun 2015: While the report by the Marikana Commission found that Lonmin had failed to ensure the safety of its workers and did not comply with housing obligations for them, the company said it had worked hard to improve conditions…“As a company we have worked hard…to build a more open, transparent and mutually trustworthy environment, and in the process make Lonmin a safer, better place to work," CEO Ben Magara said…He said this was in addition to the assistance…rendered to the widows and children of the employees who died in 2012. "While we can never replace their loved ones, we have offered employment opportunities to their families and every child of school going age is a beneficiary of the 1608 Education Trust. This is in addition to the statutory pay-outs from pension and life funds."Magara said Lonmin gave its full support to the commission…

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