PROTESTERS picketed South African mining company Lonmin’s AGM in central London yesterday, demanding it pays compensation to the families of mineworkers killed in a shooting during a strike in 2012.
They also called on South African authorities to release mineworkers still imprisoned after the protests.
In August 2012, South African police opened fire on striking workers at one of Lonmin’s mines near the town of Marikana, killing 34.
A further 10 people died over the course of several days.
This was the single most lethal use of force against civilians since the massacre of students during the Soweto uprising in 1976 under the apartheid regime.
Lobbyists from The London Mining Network, students from SOAS and campaigners from Germany and Austria took part.
A delegation from the lobby went into the AGM and demanded answers from the company on issues such as compensation and promises given on housing.
Tilman Massa from Germany told News Line: ‘We will be also asking questions about the threat to 12,000 jobs – that is a third of the workforce – now that Lonmin has been taken over by Sebanya-Stillwater mining company.
‘The company is still not complying with its obligation to provide housing or making its full reparation of compensation to the families of those who were killed.
‘The South African government has also been complicit in the massacre,’ he alleged
Also, Maren Grimm from Germany said: ‘The German company BASF is Lonmin’s main customer and we will be lobbing them on behalf of the Marikana victims.’
Sebastian Ordonez from War on Want said: ‘It’s a scandal that, nearly seven years on, families have not been fully compensated and have not had justice.’
Lonmin, a London-based mining corporation founded as Lonrho in 1909 during Cecil Rhodes’ brutal white supremacist occupation of Zimbabwe, is at the centre of this violent extraction of Africa’s natural resources.
It is also responsible for urging the police to use force to suppress the miners’ demands for basic rights, safety and dignity.
Cyril Ramaphosa, president of South Africa has stakes in the Lonmin mine.
Since the massacre, alleges the London Mining Network, Lonmin has been complicit in intimidation, criminalisation and incarceration of miners and their families, with many still imprisoned for their actions during the strike.