LITTLE has been done to solve the problems that led
to the shooting dead by South African police of 34 striking miners
in an incident that shocked the world, the Archbishop of Cape Town,
the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba, has said.
In a statement last Friday, on the anniversary of the
killings at the Marikana mine, the Archbishop said that the
situation was "a long way short": "We could have worked harder to
promote a national climate in which others, too, would have been
encouraged to do more, and act with greater urgency."
The incident, later described by the South African
media as a massacre on a scale similar to the Sharpeville shootings
under the apartheid regime in 1960, was the culmination of a
wildcat strike at the platinum mine near Rustenburg, owned by the
British firm Lonmin.
A judicial inquiry by the Farlam Commission has yet
to deliver any findings, and no one has been prosecuted. The
original grievances of the strikers - poor pay and conditions -
persist, and fighting between rival miners' unions has been blamed
for 13 deaths this year.
The Archbishop said: "People's lives, and their basic
needs, must be put first: before profits, before politics, before
power, and before inter-union rivalries."