Following the release of the Marikana Report by President Zuma, Redi Tlhabi spoke to Harvard Masters graduate, Brad Cibane who wrote research around the broader problems with the Marikana Massacre.
The entire economic structure is problematic and a big contributor to the tragedy
Brad spoke of a few factors that need to be looked into, beyond the tragedy and holding those who are responsible accountable:
- Inequality in pay of mineworkers: Racial discrimination excluded poor or black people's participation pre-democracy. How has the constitution rectified this?
- The Commission was limited in the questions they asked at the Inquiry, for instance 'how did the law fail to protect the rights of workers?'
- Dubious roles of unions and political leaders: The labour movement (i.e Cosatu) got aligned to government post democracy and government got sucked into the structure. A lot of politicians received lucrative contracts from the mine houses, which made their role suspect. Why did leaders not fix the inequality post democracy?
When we talk of justice for mine workers or those killed, we need to explore exploitation and inequality. And how what drove workers to breaking point where they were willing to take lives? How have we created the environment in which poor people are being subjected to these exploitative conditions?
Listen to the full conversation below: