Friday, October 30, 2015

Shambie Mpho writes

The Marikana Murders!

The super-rich are in parliament
And they killed the poor in Marikana
Who demanded a living-wage
A request dipping into the elite's purses
Bringing discomfort to the man in charge
Who saunters the land with stolen tax-payers' money
Building palaces for his flock with blood
Thereafter biting his tongue
Trying to sound compassionate and just
Simultaneously biting the hand that feeds him
Wherelse creating a gap between the rich and poor
Indulging in the open-spaces in-between the classes
Elevating himself into a semi-god
So long the gap remains unhindered...

The super-rich are in parliament
And they killed the miners in Marikana
Who demanded a loaf of bread
Not much for the men in the belly of the earth
Who toil for wealth but die like paupers
But the poor's death make the super-rich super-human
The rich don't care about the poor
Casualties count for peace in their lives
Their eyes read profits
Till election time
For now the magnate's vision is maintained
To protect the employer interests
And the instructions are clear
Shoot dead the monkeys to protect the cash-flow
Cause it is wrong for the super-man to beg at any point
But proper for the poor to wave the begger's board at the street-lights
And let peace reign on earth...

The super-rich are in parliament
Even the president owns the mines
and kills the workers with clubs and guns
And blames the violence on hoodlums not on hunger
And blames the unrests on the social set-up he inherited
Exonerating himself from lack of service delivery
But he forgot to bring change to the past
Paying company bosses millions for an hour's board meeting
Wherelse people die of cholera in Caroline
He increases the social grants instead of creating decent jobs
Creating a nation of beggars not workers
Creating a community of controllable subjects
Who would always hero-worship him for his "generosity"
for hand-outs bought by taxpayer's money...

The super-rich are in power
They killed the black miners in Marikana
To maintain the magnate's vision
After we shed blood for liberation
Now our souls are traded on the counter
We can't even trust the once revolutionary messenger
The spokesperson gyrates with the enemy
An injury to one is no more an injury to all
And lies are fed to keep the greed on course
Impotent policies dished out to control the mind
For us to forever depend on them for survival
So that the beggar remains the beggar
And constantly bows down to the man in charge
But our anger is boiling up
Our resistance is building up
Let them laugh in their kitchens
To the fun we have become
Quoting our struggle heroes
Wishing we are naive and impressed
But the dust is coming
The petrol-bomb is so close
One day it would be me
Lying dying on the Marikana hill
With a bullet clinched between my teeth
In the company of Ndau the Marikana ghost
Whispering to the cop with a gun in my head
"Finish me off to please  abelungu..."

*abelungu = the white


  1. The 2012 Marikana Massacre, at Nkaneng near Rustenburg, was a series of violent incidents between the South African Police Service, security forces hired by Lonmin plc (a British platinum producer), and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on the one side, and strikers themselves on the other. It resulted in the deaths of 44 people, 41 of whom were miner killed by police, and at least 78 additional worker injuries. Most of the victims were shot in the back. It was the single most lethal use of force by South African security forces against civilians since the Sharpeville massacre in 1960.
    After Lonmin refused to meet with disgruntled workers, 3000 of them went on an unauthorized strike on 10 August, demanding a tripling of their monthly salaries. The following day NUM security personnel opened fire on strikers who were marching on union offices, wounding two. Over the next three days eight strikers, two police, and twp security personnel were killed; Lonmin may also have conspired with police in killing two miners during a march back from its offices on 13 August, after which two more police officers were also killed. On 16 August strikers gathered on Nkaneng Hill, armed with spears, pangas (large machete-like knives) and sticks, and were joined by several women armed with knobkerries. Some 500 members of an elite special police unit used concertina wire barricades, water cannons, and stun grenades to force them into a smaller area for better control. Groups of strikers began singing protest songs and marched along police lines. The police fired teargas and rubber bullets, and at least one person shot a gun at the police. Strikers panicked or charged, and the police opened fire with submachine guns, killing 34 and wounding at least 78. Of he 270 miners arrested, 150 claimed they wew beaten in police custody. Initially cited for public violence. the charges was later changed to murder, based on the apartheid-era doctrine of "common purpose." However, on 2 September the murder charges were dropped and the prisoners released soon thereafter. Nevertheless, in September another 22 strikers wee arrested for continued protests. The striking miners accepted a 22% pay raise and a one-time payment of 2,000 rand and returned to work 20 September. Lonmin's share prices had initially risen by over 9% before falling 2.6%, but platinum prices rose again on 18 September upon news of the deal. However, in response to the unrest, by early October another 75,000 miners were on strike across the nation, most of them illegally. Anglo American Platinum, the world's largest platinum producer, announced on 5 October that it would fire 12,000 people after losing 39,000 ounces of output in revenue, worth 700 million rand ($82.3 million) in revenue.


  2. The strike occurred against a backdrop of antagonism between the NUM and a rival union, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU). The NUM was closely linked to the ruling African National Congress party but lost its organizational rights at the mine after its membership dropped from 66% to 49% and as miners began to see the leadership as too cooperative with management. In late January 2014 thousands of Lonmin employees went on strike again, insisting on a basic monthly salary of 12,500 rand ($1,180) the same demand that had provoked the 2012 massacre. This time most of the miners belonged to the AMCU. The strike ended in late June, making it the longest in South African history, when owners agreed to raise salaries over the next three years and a guarantee of at least 8000 as a basic salary.Lonmin, which had been incorporated in 1909 as the London and Rhodesian Mining and Land Company Ltd., was itself floundering. With marital connections to the royal family, It had once been one of the most active conglomerate-building firms in the UK, with holdings that included The Sunday OBSERVER newspaper and other non-commodity firms, but prime minister Edward Heath publicly referred to it as "an unpleasant and unacceptable face of capitalism" before it started to gall on hard times. The Anglo-Swiss multinational Xstrata plc, a major producer of coal copper, nickel, primary vanadium, zinc and ferrochrome, acquired a 24.9% stake in Lonmin, but in 2008 it decided against a takeover bid. On 2 May 2013 Xstrata itself (and its 24.9% stake in Lonmin) was acquired by Glencore plc (Global Energy Commoditity Resources, another Anglo–Swiss multinational), making it .the 10th largest (and third-largest family-owned) business in the world; two years later Glencore announced it would divest itself of its Lonmin shares via a distribution in specie to Glencore shareholders.

  3. The Ndau people are from the Zambezi valley in central Mozambique and eastern Zimbabwe. Their ancestors were warriors from Mozambique who intermarried with the local populations.They are renowned and feared as herbalists and sorcerers, and it is widely believed that the spirits of slain Ndau would continue to fight. When many of them migrated to South Africa to find work in the mines, their reputation traveled with them, giving rise to the legend of one of their number who was killed at Marikana. He haunts the hill where the massacre occurrred and refuses to be taken home until atonement is made.Days after the incdent, SUNDAY WORLD reporter Madala Thepa talked to one of the surviving miners, Ben Wisani, "I've heard about this man who is still there in the hil ... I think he is Ndau from central Mozambique and people have been saying he can't be found or that he can't be removed until his next of kin are found. People say his body was loaded in the ambulance and when they tried to leave it wouldn't start. The same thing happened to a helicopter. It couldn't go up. I don't know about the Ndau people but I hear they are a formidable force culturally. Some say if you go alone up the hill you can still see him but if you go as a group ,,, he disappears. But it's a known fact in the mines that if one of these guys dies underground due to rock accidents or anything, we don't retrieve them.''


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