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Criticism of mine delay

23 August 2013

REUTERS

One year on: miners gesture as they pray at the commemoration of the killings, outside the Marikana mine in Rustenburg, last Friday

One year on: miners gesture as they pray at the commemoration of the killings, outside the Marikana mine in Rustenburg, last Friday

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."

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