Bloody Marikana: What the media didn’t tell you!
Earlier today (Sunday, 19 August 2012), SNI members set off to Marikana, the
crime scene at which several black workers were shot and killed last week.
Getting into the town is not an easy feat. There are at least four road
blocks before you can gain access into it and at each stop SNI is stopped
and interrogated by the police: Why are we there, why did we choose this
particular time to visit, who is our leader? These are sensitive times,
we’re told and therefore every measure must be taken.
The purpose of the interrogation is clear: to intimidate anyone who may be
there to fan the fires. The town itself is ghostly quiet. The locals confirm
the obvious to us: since the killings, everyone is scared to come out or
talk: it’s a police state. We pass through a residential area no different
to any other squatter camp, only thing is this black dump is next to the
South Africa’s biggest platinum mine and feeds it with cheap black labour.
At the rock formation at which mineworkers camped peacefully for a week, a
lone man stands a few metres from us as if he’s eavesdropping. We call out
to him and from a distance says he’ll speak to us only talk if we promise
not take pictures or video footage of him. We assure him that we are from a
movement that is stands with the black workers of Lonmin and will therefore
not compromise his security in any way.
We are lucky to find him. He was there the day workers were murdered. It’s
not hard to see that the trauma is taking its toll on him. He offers to give
us a tour of the murder scene and warns us that there is blood everywhere
and bits of bone. He has obviously made it through this route. He knows
every corner. “People were crushed”, he keeps repeating. When he realises
that we don’t quite understand what he means he explains that several
workers were shot at and ran over by “inyalas”. He tells us some of the dead
could have survived had they not been crushed by these heavy duty police
He then takes us to a range of rocks where several hundred more workers were
stationed. There the surface is blue from whatever chemical was sprayed from
a water bomb that attacked from above. The rocks, the plants and the grass
is covered in in a deep blue colour. workers were spray bombed with this
from helicopters above. Their eyes stung, couldn’t breath and were
effectively immobilised. Our guide confirms that the majority of those who
are currently detained were actually from this group.
The water bomb clearly had traces of poison and one cannot help but think ok
Woutter Basson’s biological warfare operations during apartheid. SNI has
obtained samples of the substance and will submit it for tests.
For the rest of the guided tour, our friend shows us how several people were
shot while they were hiding between the rocks and under bushes. We see for
ourselves splatters of blood that indicate the determination to dig workers
out of their hiding holes and shoot them dead. All sorts of items of
clothing and shoes, soiled with blood lie all around the scene.
What is clear from what we are told is that this was an ambush. The video
material in mainstream media showing workers charging at the police was in
fact workers running away from bullets being hurled from behind. Why would
workers, armed with knobknorries charge at armed police? The workers were
completely surrounded and what we’ve been seeing in the media is only half
the story. There was clearly a mission to shoot to kill, thus the deployment
of the army.
Throughout our conversation with the worker, he keeps digging into his
pocket for a phone that is in tatters. He explains that it’s his friend’s
phone who was crushed in the carnage. Its all he has left of his friend. He
explains that he wants to get someone to check the phone and get his
friend’s information from it. There’s an uncomfortable silence. He knows as
well as we do that the phone cannot be revived, that his friend is not going
to come back to life but none of us say it. What is there to say, really?
This report was brought to you by the SNI Operation Marikana crew.
We are the ones!
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