Statement on South Africa

3 September 2012

The National Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Ireland unequivocally condemns the shooting of thirty-four striking miners by police at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, South Africa. The deaths reveal a society that, despite the progress made by the ANC government, is still dominated by the wealth of transnational corporations and wealthy white landowners, with gross inequality among the black population, particularly in the areas of employment, housing, education, and health. 
     The CPI welcomes the setting up of a judicial commission of inquiry by President Zuma “to investigate matters of public, national and international concern arising out of the events in Marikana which led to the deaths of approximately 44 people, the injury of more than 70 persons and the arrest of more than 250 people.” 
     The CPI supports the Congress of South African Trades Unions in its criticism of the decision by the National Prosecuting Authority to charge 270 people arrested at the mine as unacceptable legal practice and pre-empting the work of the judicial commission of inquiry. 
     The CPI also supports the call by the South African Communist Party for Lonmin—the world’s third-biggest platinum producer—to provide for the housing and education of the families of the dead miners.