Lonmin in South AfricaThe accused corporation is the UK based platinum miner Lonmin. The accusations are based on Lonminâ€™s activities carried out in Marikana, Rustenburg, South Africa, since 2004.
Zenzeni NaÂ ?
Miners Shot Down
Film on YouTube
Voices from the
The Marikana Files
Â Â Generally, Lonmin is responsible for the environmental damage caused by exceeding the limits of emission of dust, sulphur dioxide, and calcium sulphide, and for causing water pollution with illegal discharges.
Â Â Moreover, and with regard to the workers it employs, Lonmin is involved in the Marikana Massacre of August 16, 2012, in which 34 workers were killed and 78 were injured by South African Police Forces and Lonmin Security while pacifically protesting.
Â Â The protest resulted from a five months struggle with the company for decent living wages and the fact that it did not keep its promises. Due to the strong interest that the government has in the corporation there is no recourse at national, regional or international level for either environmental damages or the massacre.
Â Â Needless to say, Lonminâ€™s behaviour, as well as the complicity of the South African government, are blatantly in violation of international human rights law, especially of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as well as in breach of basic international labour standards, recognised by the International Labour Organisation.
Media for Justice, Sipho Singiswa - Videos:
The Marikana Files (Episode One)
August 9, 2014https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJjep_92pXoSocial Justice activist and filmmaker, Sipho Singiswa, goes into Marikana on a journey into the hearts, minds and lives of the communities that live around the Lonmin Mines. Here he discovers a community is constant struggle with a multitude of socioeconomic and environmental transgressions. It soon becomes apparent that by only focusing on the heinous police brutality, which is not to be down played) the plentiful socio economic hardships are being overlooked by the media and even the Farlam Commission. These include untanable living conditions, a toxic soup of pollutants poisoning the landscape in which they live and a host of other social issues. Singiswa interviews David Van Wyk, senior researcher at the Bench Marks Foundation as they unpack the reasons for ongoing strike action and scrutinise corporate social responsibility vs the reality of the lives of communities, as well mine workers and their families who live around the Lonmin mining operation.Voices from the Platinum Belt
June 26, 2014https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgn9Bo1757gOn the day that marks the celebration of 20 years of democracy in SA Media for Justice's Sipho Singiswa goes into Marikana and surrounds and speaks to striking miners and their families about the socio-economic plight that created the strike. Here he converses with people about a range of issues that affect the poor and working class in South Africa while thousands of striking miners line up to receive food parcels from Gift of the Givers - who started an outreach program to alleviate the hunger of striking miners and their families.
Zenzeni Na? (What have we done?)
Sipho Singiswa spent over two years in and out of Marikana reporting on the strike and following the stories of communities who were directly affected by the Marikana massacre in 2012. He gathers the stories, heartaches, voices and songs of the people living around Lonmin in his passion to share the humanity of his people with the world. In a neoliberal South Africa, the working class are misrepresented in the media and largely stripped of their humanity. Indeed, the miners were represented as dangerous and out of control before the massacre - and this played into the public response to the massacre - which was largely lackluster. Many people interviewed believed that the miners got what was coming to them.
See the film (password required)
Retourning to people's power is the only way
January 21, 2015
Sipho SIngiswa talks to NUMSA's Dinga Sikwebu about the United Front and radical transformation.
"I think in the last few years we have lost the idea about direct and participatory democracy - and I think until we return to this where people in their streets, in the townships, in their localities in their churches in their schools - begin to take direct responsibility of governing themselves, what in the 80's we called People's Power, if we don't return to that the machine will just swallow them up and spit them out." Dinga Sikwebu - NUMSA
See also:"The Relationship between Labour and Civil Society in the Struggle for Social Justice"sacsis.org.za/site/article/2228
"Trade unions and civil society movement"
United Front background
Devan Pillay, sociology dept. at the University of the Witwatersrand
" 'Be the change you want to see'
A social focus entails a mobilised civil society to keep elected representatives accountable and maximum participatory democracy at all levels of social life. This participatory-democratic socialist vision resonated in the United Democratic Front during the 1980s, conceptualising working-class politics in the broadest terms, including the struggle for economic democracy and citizens' control in the political and social spheres.
Such a democracy, combined with a global, expansive eco-socialist vision (including insights from indigenous knowledge), would be sensitive to both social and ecological sustainability.
Following the Gandhian principle of "be the change you want to see", the form of struggle has a direct bearing on the outcome. This is a long-term battle that is already taking shape in groupings such as the World Social Forum and in places such as Bolivia and Kerala, India. Even the Buddhist country Bhutan, and its notion of a gross national happiness index, has potential resonance with eco-Marxism.
In the wake of a global crisis that has delegitimised the certainties of neoliberal economics, there is a growing awareness of the need to find alternatives to disaster capitalism.
According to Bolivian president Evo Morales: 'It is nothing new to live well. It is simply a matter of recovering the life of our forbears and putting an end to the kind of thinking that encourages individualistic egoism and the thirst for luxury. Living well is not living better at the expense of others. We need to build a communitarian socialism in harmony with Mother Earth.'Â ..."
Session of the Permanent People's Tribunal on Human Rights Violations Committed by the Transnationals,
Geneva 23 June 2014
A number of cases of human rights violations by Transnational Corporations has been presented at the Permanent Peoples Tribunal (PPT) Hearing being held in Geneva on June 23. The one-day Hearing of the PPT is being prepared by The Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power & Stop Impunity together with Swiss-based social organizations and movements, and affected communities from different global regions. The PPT is an Opinion Tribunal, which follows on the tradition of the Russell Tribunals on the Vietnam War and the Dictatorships in Latin America and was established in 1979 in the framework of the Algiers Universal Declaration of the Rights of Peoples.
The PPT has held almost 40 sessions addressing systematic violations of human rights and peoples rights including a Session on the World Bank, European TNCs in Latin America and Bhopal and it is one of few international institutions where affected communities can directly present cases of violations of human rights perpetrated by Transnational Corporations.
Some of the cases that has been heard include Chevron in Ecuadorean Amazon, Shell in Nigeria, Glencore in several countries (such as the Philippines, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Peru and Colombia), Pacific Rim in El Salvador, Lonmin in South Africa, Coca-cola in Colombia, Mekorot in Palestine and Hidralia in Guatemala.
The Panel of Jurors is presided by Juan Hernandez Zubizarreta (Basque Country) and composed by Beverley Keene (Argentina) Francesco Martone (Italy), Renata Reis (Brazil), Roberto Schiattarella (Italy) and Jean Ziegler (Switzerland).