ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Marikana Massacre

Marikana: A View from the Mountain and a Case to Answer by Peter Alexander, T Lekgowa, B Mmope, L Sinwell and B Xezwi (Johannesburg: Jacana Media), 2013; pp 210; Rand 120.

The massacre of 34 mineworkers in August 2012 at the Marikana platinum mine in Rustenberg, South Africa owned by Lonmin brought the life and politics of the working people in South Africa to the spotlight and impelled the global public to interrogate the nature of South African post-apartheid democracy. The book in discussion embodies a new stream of research that Peter Alexander describes as “a rapid research response”.1 It brings forth the perspective of the Lonmin strikers in Marikana to the wider public. It is significant, for the latter previously drew predominantly upon the public statements over the Marikana episode issued by the Lonmin owner and managers, the government, and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

It investigates the managerial and official discourses. The latter described the striker as someone threatening the economy and the value of the rand. On the contrary, the demand of the mineworkers for Rand 12,500 a month deserved attention because of the fact that the company bosses were earning a much fatter salary and dividend, Alexander et alargue. Alexander further strengthens the argument by highlighting the falling share of the worker and the rising shareof company profits in the national income. Anyway, the strikers wanted the bosses to listen to their case for a decent wage.

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