South Africa has lashed out at the United States and European Union for imposing oil sanctions on Iran over its nuclear energy program without first consulting major importers of the Iranian energy supplies.
South Africa’s Energy Minister Elizabeth Dipuo Peters, who is in India to attend the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) meeting, said that such decisions have geopolitical implications and mostly affect “the poorest of the poor” that are in dire need of energy supplies and have no alternative.
“When decisions are made at bilateral or unilateral levels that have serious geopolitical consequences, we need to engage seriously,” Peters said.
“When we had to look for crude of the kind we got from Iran, it came at a premium,” she added.
“It has a multiple knock-on effect, especially on the poorest. When these decisions are taken, they must always consider the impact and consequences of their decisions at the geopolitical level. Or at least involve other countries so that when the decision is made they can say South Africa is taking it consciously. They have calculated the impact on them but not on others,” the South African minister said.
At the beginning of 2012, the US and EU imposed new sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.
On October 15, 2012, the EU foreign ministers reached an agreement on another round of sanctions against Iran.
The sanctions have been imposed on Iran over the groundless charges of a potential military diversion in Iran’s nuclear energy program.
Iran rejects the unfounded allegations over its nuclear energy program, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Peters said that that the petroleum industry is a victim of financial sanctions, which include US sanctions on dollar-denominated trading and EU sanctions on insurance for shipping companies.
She emphasized that the US 18-month exemption for Iran oil sanctions had not benefited South Africa because the EU has refused to grant waivers.
On December 8, 2012, the US added China, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Taiwan to the list of countries exempted from the sanctions for another six months.
- Chinese tanker loads Iranian crude for first time since EU ban (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- UN Sanctions on Iran: The Dance of Mutual Deniability (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Iran sanctions could force BP to shut down North Sea gas field (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- US renews Iran sanctions waiver for Japan and 10 EU countries (alethonews.wordpress.com)
The ‘big five’ of the developing world will discuss creating their own global World Bank as their 5th annual summit kicks off Tuesday in sunny Durban.
The move is linked to the developing world’s disillusionment with the status quo of world financial institutions. The World Bank and IMF continue to favor US and European presidents over BRICS nations, and in 2010, the US failed to ratify a 2010 agreement which would allow more IMF funds to be allocated to developing nations.
“Not long ago we discussed the formation of a developmental bank… Today we are ready to launch it,” South African President Jacob Zuma said on Monday.
The ‘big five’- Brazil, Russia, India, China, and its newest addition, South Africa, will come together for the annual conference this year in Durban, South Africa in hopes of establishing a new development bank which will fund infrastructure and development projects in the five member states, and will pool foreign currencies to fend off any impending financial crisis.
“We will discuss ways to revive global growth and ensure macroeconomic stability, as well as mechanisms and measures to promote investment in infrastructure and sustainable development,” Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Monday, before heading to Durban.
The BRICS have called for a reconstruction of the World Bank and IMF, which were created in 1944, and want to put forth their own ‘Bretton Woods’ accord. And they are serious.
“Brics is not a talk show. It is a serious grouping,” Zuma told reporters at the presidential guest house in Pretoria.
The new bank will cater to developing world interests and will symbolize a great economic and political union.
“There’s a shift in power from the traditional to the emerging world. There is a lot of geo-political concern about this shift in the western world,” Martyn Davies, chief executive officer of Johannesburg-based Frontier Advisory, told Bloomberg.
“A future BRICS Investment Bank is seen as a mechanism that would help realize where money should go, agree development strategies and coordinate investment,” explained Georgy Toloraya, the executive director of Russia’s national committee for BRICS studies to SA News.
In its nebulous stage, the new BRICS bank is unanimously supported by all five member states. In Durban, problems will arise on how to govern, fund, and operate the grand venture.
“When you set up a bank like this it’s not just a question of opening the doors. There are some issues about where it is going to be located, what the capital contributions are going to be, the rules of deploying that investment. These are the sort of details that are in various stages of discussion and negotiation,” said South African Trade Minister Rob Davies, in a statement.
The leaders may not reach a specific agreement in Durban this week, as each country has its own stipulations on its creation. Russia, for example, wants to cap each side’s initial contribution to $10 billion, according to Mikhail Margelov, part of President Putin’s team in South Africa.
Emergency Currency Fund
Pooling currency to deflect a future crisis is also a high priority topic set for the conference.
Once a loose political affiliation, the BRICS bloc is now a serious economic contender in the world economy, representing 40 percent of the world’s population, and accounting for one fifth of global GDP.
Between the five countries, the bloc holds foreign-currency reserves of $4.4 trillion, and needs an institution to safeguard this amassing wealth. The reserve will also protect members from short-term liquidity volatility and balance-of-payment problems.
Presently, it is proposed the member states contribute an equal share to the fund, but there is still dispute over whether to involve IMF management. India has voiced support for IMF involvement, but other BRICS countries may resist.
“A reserve pool, I think, is still some way off, ” said Davies.
In October, Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega suggested the pool be modeled after the Chiang Mai Initiative, which provides a financial safety blanket to south east Asian countries.
Trade within the group swelled to $282 billion last year and could very well reach $500 billion by 2015, according to Brazilian government data.
The conference is a benchmark of many firsts. It is the first time the conference has been held on South African soil.
For China, it is President Xi’s first visit to South Africa, where China is a leading trading partner and investor. In 2012, the trade between the two countries was 201bln ZAR ($21bln), according to the South African Revenue Service.
The conference is also President Vladimir Putin’s first international visit in 2013.
For South Africa, which makes up just 2.5 percent of total gross domestic product in BRICS, the summit is a way to showcase its role as an investment gateway to Africa. South Africa is the newest and smallest member of the BRIC bloc. It has the 28th highest ranked GDP in the world: China is 2nd, Brazil 6th, Russia 9th and India 10th.
- BRICS Nations Plan New Bank to Bypass World Bank, IMF (bloomberg.com)
Karsten Farms, a leading South African agricultural company backed by one of South Africa’s primary finance bodies, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), has severed its relations with the Israeli cooperative, Hadiklaim, and has also undertaken not to enter into any future relations with any Israeli entity complicit in the illegal Israeli Occupation of Palestine.
South African human rights organizations, lead by the Palestine Solidarity Alliance (PSA) and BDS South Africa, launched a consumer campaign against Karsten Farms due to its trade relations (in violation of the boycott of Israel) with Israel’s Hadiklaim - an Israeli company operating, against international law, in the illegal Israeli settlements.
This week, after almost 3 years of campaigning, in a letter to BDS South Africa via their lawyers, Werksmans Attorneys, Karsten Farms undertook: “Not to enter into any trade relations with Hadiklaim for the current harvest year of 2013 and not have any business relations with them [Hadiklaim] in the future.” In addition, and in a precedent-setting move, Karsten Farms also undertook: “Not to enter into any trade relations with any Israeli company and/or entity within the occupied/illegal settlement areas of Israel”.
Siphiwe Thusi of the Palestine Solidarity Alliance welcomed the news: “This is the first time that a South African company has taken the legally as well as ethically correct decision not to trade with Israeli companies complicit in the illegal Israeli Occupation of Palestine. Karsten Farms has indeed set a precedent for other South African businesses and companies to follow. This is a breakthrough not only for the boycott of Israel but also for ethical and good business practice.” Thusi added that “the call for the consumer boycott of Karstens products has now been called off by virtue of their legal undertakings” however he also cautioned that “the Palestine Solidarity Alliance and BDS South Africa will be monitoring the situation and if any new Israeli relations, even if via third parties, were to be formed, the boycott campaign against Karsten Farms would be re-launched, and intensified.”
Find the full statement here: http://tinyurl.com/avlzt7n
- BDS Gaining Momentum (councillorpadraigmcshane.wordpress.com)
- The 9th Annual Israeli Apartheid Week 2013 (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- South Africa’s ruling ANC officially endorses Palestine’s boycott movement (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- South Lebanon: Israel Admits to Stealing Land in Adaisseh (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Israel plans boycott of UN human rights review (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Farming Injustice: End all Trade with Israeli Agricultural Companies (bdsmovement.net)
South Africa’s ruling party has officially endorsed Palestine’s Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign against Israel, making it the first major non-Muslim political faction to throw its weight behind the nonviolent resistance movement.
The African National Congress issued a resolution in support of the boycott campaign making it a part of its official policy, and specifically called for “all South Africans to support the programmes and campaigns of the Palestinian civil society which seek to put pressure on Israel to engage with the Palestinian people to reach a just solution.”
A press release issued by activist group BDS South Africa called the move “the most authoritative endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign.”
Previous moves to support Palestine’s nonviolent resistance movement from state actors have restricted their backing to the boycott of Israeli settlements, shying away from targeting the Jewish state. In September, the Irish parliament voted to ban Israeli settlement imports. Earlier this month, an Israeli newspaper reported that the EU was looking into boycotting settlement goods, after Israel defied calls to stem construction of the illegal houses.
Another clause of the resolution lashed out at Israel’s mistreatment of Africans, which culminated in the mass deportation of South Sudanese this year: “The ANC abhors the recent Israeli state-sponsored xenophobic attacks and deportation of Africans and request that this matter should be escalated to the African Union.”
The move is the latest in a series of actions by the ANC to pressure Israel into ending the Jewish state’s racist policies, particularly against indigenous Palestinians.
This August, South Africa’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim advised South Africans not to travel to Israel “because of the treatment and policies of Israel towards the Palestinian people.”
Palestine activists have long worked to draw attention to parallels between South Africa’s apartheid period and Palestinian repression under Israel’s ethno-religious-exclusive government system. Palestine’s BDS movement is said to be largely inspired by South Africa’s own boycott movement, which is credited with playing a major role in dismantling apartheid in that country in 1994.
South African Apartheid was declared official policy in 1948, the same year the state of Israel was created and thousands of Palestinians were expelled or put under martial rule.
In 2005, Palestinian civil society issued a call for a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights. The launch followed a historic ruling at the International Court of Justice that Israel’s apartheid wall, which greatly restricts movement in the West Bank and expropriates large swathes of Palestinian land, be demolished.
The BDS movement has garnered support from activists and labor unions worldwide, as well as from a growing list of artists, including Roger Waters, Elvis Costello, Santana, Cat Power and the late Gil Scott Heron.
Full BDS South Africa Press release
MEDIA RELEASE: S. Africa’s ruling party, the ANC, reaffirms boycott of Israel resolution
South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), at its 53rd National Conference, reaffirmed a resolution supporting the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign.
In October 2012, the ANC’s International Solidarity Conference (ISC) declared its full support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign (ISC Declaration, page 2, point 10).
Today, Lindiwe Zulu (member of the ANC’s International Relations Sub-Committee and special advisor to President Jacob Zuma) announced at the ANC’s 53rd National Conference plenary session, the ANC’s official endorsement, as captured in Resolution 39 (b), of the ANC’s October International Solidarity Conference (ISC) and all its resolutions, which includes a resolution on BDS. Giving muscle to resolution 39 (b), the ANC has committed to set up a steering committee to implement these ISC resolutions.
In addition, the ANC adopted resolution 35 (g) that specifically called for “all South Africans to support the programmes and campaigns of the Palestinian civil society which seek to put pressure on Israel to engage with the Palestinian people to reach a just solution.” In 2005 Palestinian civil society issued a call to the international community for a program and campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) to be applied against Israel as a way to pressure Israel to end its violations of international law, respect Palestinian human rights and engage in fair negotiations for a just peace.
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi of BDS South Africa welcomed today’s decision: “This reaffirmation by the ANC’s National Conference, its highest decision making body, is by far the most authoritative endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign. The ANC has now taken its international conference resolutions, and officially made it the policy of the ANC. We look forward to working with the ANC and specifically the ISC steering committee to expedite its implementation.”
Another hard-hitting decision on Israel that was adopted by the ANC was resolution 35 (j): “The ANC abhors the recent Israeli state-sponsored xenophobic attacks and deportation of Africans and request that this matter should be escalated to the African Union”. In June this year Israeli anti-African protests turned into full-fledged race riots. Israeli racism and xenophobia against Africans is shared and even encouraged by Israeli politicians including the Israeli Prime Minster, Benjamin Netanyahu, who has said: “If we don’t stop their [African immigrants’] entry, the problem that currently stands at 60,000 could grow to 600,000, and that threatens our existence…and threatens the social fabric of society.” Israel’s Minister of Interior, Eli Yishai, has said that African immigrants “think the country doesn’t belong to us, the white man.” And the Israeli parliamentarian, Miri Regev, has publicly compared Sudanese people to “a cancer”.
Finally, in a blow to the Israeli lobby, the ANC also adopted resolution 35 (c) stating: “The ANC is unequivocal in its support for the Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination, and unapologetic in its view that the Palestinians are the victims and the oppressed in the conflict with Israel.” In the build up to the ANC’s National Conference the Israeli lobby, including the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, demanded a “balanced” and “nonpartisan” rather than a decisive and solidarity role by the ANC in the Palestinian-Israeli issue.
ISSUED BY MBUYISENI NDLOZI FOR BDS SOUTH AFRICA
The Mavrix, a South African band, are known for their solidarity with the Palestinian cause. Their musical message reached all the way into the hearts of the Palestinians of Gaza and received international acclaim, when they released their well-known music video “The New Black”, which also featured Palestinian Oud player Mohammed Omar from Gaza.
The music video that features the song from the album “Pura Vida”, draws parallels between South African apartheid and Israeli apartheid and the current occupation of Palestine. The band’s inclination to solidarity with Palestine against apartheid and oppression is also expressed on this album in the songs “Palestinian as One”, and a song written by founding member Jeremy Karodia called “Burnt Humus”, for his friend in Gaza, Haidar Eid.
Responding to the recent Israeli atrocities against the people of Gaza of last month, The Mavrix have made ‘Palestinian as One’ available for free download. You can listen to the song here, and download it. You can also watch this music video based on this song, that was not made by the Mavrix, but by a Youtube user using their song and combining it with pictures of worldwide pro-Palestine solidarity.
This unique South African band combines purity of sound and composition with a powerful and penetrating message.
The roots of The Mavrix go back to the 1980′s and the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. The founding members, composers/musicians, Jeremy Karodia and Ayub Mayet, floated in and out of their roles as activists and artists, artists and activists, finally settling as activist artists writing music that reflected life in apartheid South Africa. During that period, The Mavrix consisted of Karodia on guitar/vocals and Mayet on vocals.
After the birth of a new South African democracy in 1994, The Mavrix evolved by adding new songs and music to their repertoire with the addition of new musicians, Shahzaadee Karodia on violin, Ketan Parshotham on tabla and Reshma Lalla on santoor to accompany Karodia’s guitar and Mayet’s vocals.
Styled in Western Folk and fused with African and North Indian rhythms and melodies, the band recorded their first album, “Guantanamo Bay”, in 2004 as a response to the growing phenomenon of global poverty, political detentions, drug abuse, domestic violence, child abuse and occupation/invasion and war. The album fused Western instruments with Indian and African instruments. Reza Khota on guitar, Godfrey Mgcina on African percussion and Marc Duby on bass played as session musicians on the cd.
The title song, “Guantanamo Bay”, was written to highlight the parallels between the United States’ infamous Guantanamo Bay prison and apartheid South Africa’s own political detention camp, Robben Island, on which most of the liberation movement’s political leaders including Nelson Mandela, were incarcerated. Other songs such as “Promised Land” highlighted the invasion of Iraq and the occupation of Palestine.
In 2007 the band began writing new songs and had a change in personnel. With Parshotham and Lalla having left the band, Ravi Naidoo on vocals, Corvin Brady on violin and Pravesh Vallabh on tabla joined the group. The Mavrix began work on a new album called “Pura Vida”.
True to the sound of their first cd, “Guantanamo Bay”, released in 2004/2005, the new album reflects the band’s diverse brand of fusing African, Indian classical and Western musical styles in the “folk/rock” genre. The 14 songs are just as diverse in lyrical content as the variety of instrumentation on the album.
The album features an array of talented and versatile local and international musicians who accompanied the band to create an album embellished by multiple instruments and musical arrangements. Johannesburg based Denny Lalouette and Gregs Moonsammy on bass, Pahlad Singh on accordion, Kreasan Moodley on harmonium, a string trio featuring Ruby Ngoasheng on viola, Kagiso Molete on violin and Sizekello Shuba on cello, Wian Joubert on percussion, Durban based santoor player, Ashwin Morar and Palestinian Oud player, Mohamed Omar helped create a unique style that The Mavrix have become known for.
Whilst The Mavrix compose songs passionately about global issues that affect communities in their day to day lives, the band have also written and composed songs on the “Pura Vida” album about spirituality and romance. Songs such as the title track, “Pura Vida” and “Legend”, expose a spiritual feel in musical arrangement and content. “Chapatti Girl”, “Angel” and “This house ain’t cold no more” are compositions that reflect the “non activist” side of the band.
“Pura Vida”, in Spanish, means pure life and after 28 years of performing, composing and writing music based on struggle and human interests, the album title reflects the band’s commitment towards global justice and world peace.
South African miner Gold Fields has sacked over 8000 of striking workers after they refused to return to work at the KDC East mine near the city of Johannesburg, a spokesman says.
“All 8,500 people who were on strike did not come back. They did not return to work, so we have issued dismissal letters to all of them,” spokesman Sven Lunsche announced on Tuesday.
“We have now reached a stage where we can’t hold off anymore. Our hands were forced and we have now done it.”
Lunsche further stated that the workers have 24 hours to appeal their dismissal.
Workers at the last striking mine of the world’s fourth gold producer in Carletonville, southwest of Johannesburg, ignored a final deadline set for 4:00 pm (14:00 GMT).
Tens of thousands working in South African mines –mostly located near the commercial hub of Johannesburg– have been on strike for more than a month.
The strikes have paralyzed production in the country, which accounts for around seven percent of global mine products.
In August, clashes between striking miners and police left 46 miners dead at Lonmin platinum mine in the South African North West Province.
The strikes have damaged South Africa’s reputation as an investment destination.
South Africa possesses nearly 80 percent of the world’s known platinum reserves. The country’s mining sector directly employs around 500,000 people and accounts for nearly one-fifth of the country’s gross domestic product.
Up to 12,000 employees of Anglo American Platinum received messages Friday saying they were fired. The mining powerhouse dismissed the workers after a three-week strike. The labor stand-off has already taken 48 lives across South Africa since August.
The news was broken to the employees via SMS and emails.
Commenting on the move, Amplats declared miners had failed to appear before disciplinary hearings “and have therefore been dismissed in their absence.” The miners had been warned that would happen if they failed to turn up, the company said.
The world’s largest platinum producer says its lost over $80 million in revenues since a major strike gripped their mines in mid-September, involving at least 20,000 miners.
“Despite the company’s repeated calls for employees to return to work, we have continued to experience attendance levels of less than 20 percent,” the firm said in a statement quoted by Agence France Presse.
Strike leader Gaddafi Mdoda was one of the those fired on Friday. He says that even if Amplats no longer employs them, this is no reason to end the struggle. The mineworkers are demanding 12,500 rand (about $1,500) in take-home salary, their current wages are reported to be around $500.
Amplats says they still continue “exploring the possibility of bringing forward wage negotiations within our current agreements”.
The sackings came hours before another striking miner was mortally wounded in clashes with police, bringing the total number of protesters killed since strikes began in August, to 48. Police would not confirm the cause of death, but protesters say he was shot with a rubber bullet.
The strikes peaked at over 75,000 participants, or 15 percent of workforce in the mining sector. Clashes with police often turned violent, involving tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon. In a single day thirty-four strikers were killed by police at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine, on August 16.
Despite the growing tensions, negotiations with mine owners don’t appear to be yielding any substantial results. A rare breakthrough was reached at the Lonmin platinum mines, where the worst violence broke out, with salaries being boosted 22 per cent. But on Thursday, South Africa’s Chamber of Mines, the main industry body, said wage talks will not be based on that precedent. This may force coal miners to join platinum, gold, iron ore and diamond miners in further work stoppages.
Mineworkers of Lonmin platinum mine have ended their five-week strike and returned to work after the company increased their salaries, South African media says.
The Lonmin strike was marked by violent clashes in August, where police forces killed 34 striking miners at the platinum mine which is reportedly the world’s third-largest platinum producer with approximately 28,000 employees. In all, 45 people have died in violence related to the unrest.
“The end of the Lonmin strike is something we should all cheer, but how the dispute has been settled may provide a template for workers to use elsewhere. That’s the contagion threat,” wrote a columnist for Business Day (South Africa) on Wednesday.
Meanwhile,South African mining strikes spread to the chrome sector, after miners in gold and platinum mines halted work across the country.
Reports on Monday said that some miners at Samancor chrome mine located near Mooinooi, northwest of Johannesburg stopped work, demanding a minimum pay of 12,500 rand ($1,560).
According to an article published in Business Daily on Tuesday, “What started as a wage dispute… has morphed into something much bigger, posing a number of questions about the future of the mining industry and SA as an investment case… Workers at other mines may be encouraged to adopt the same tactics as the Lonmin workers, especially as they managed to winkle out extra pay from a struggling company.”
The Star newspaper also reported “this [end of the Lonmin strike] could be bad news for the biggest miners’ union in the country, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)…. There is a strong feeling that NUM members will decamp and move to join the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), the NUM’s new rival.”
Earlier on September 10, some 15,000 mine workers staged a demonstration at Gold Fields mine to voice their anger over pay and working conditions, after four people injured in a shooting at the same mine.
South Africa is home to nearly 80 percent of the world’s known platinum reserves. Mining accounts for about 20 percent of the country’s national output.
- S.Africa Lonmin miners end strike, accept 22% pay raise (capitalfm.co.ke)
South African police forces have fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters at the strike-hit Marikana platinum mine after raiding hostels and seizing weapons amid growing unrest.
Hundreds of protesters in the shantytown threw stones at officers and burned tires on Saturday.
About 500 officers took part in an early-morning raids on worker hostels around the platinum mine, west of the capital Pretoria, taking machetes, spears and arresting five people.
The government had threatened to clamp down on unrest which had been spreading in gold and platinum mines.
The long-month mining unrest that hit the northwest town of Rustenburg’s platinum belt over a wage battle has seen hundreds of protesting workers brandishing sticks and machetes march from mine to mine around Marikana and other areas, threatening anyone reporting for work.
The strike has been marked by violent clashes, including the shooting dead of 34 striking miners by police in August. In all, 45 people have died in violence related to the unrest.
The world’s top platinum producer Anglo American Platinum has been forced to close five of its mines over safety fears after intimidation and threats of violence on staff trying to go to work.
South Africa’s mining sector directly employs around 500,000 people and accounts for nearly one-fifth of gross domestic product of the country.
- South African police fire tear gas and rubber bullets at striking miners (rt.com)
- South African police shoot four miners (morningstaronline.co.uk)
South African workers arrested after a shooting at a platinum mine have been charged with killing 34 of their colleagues, despite confirmation that police committed the murders. The officers, who did not deny using guns, face no charges.
The Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, in the country’s North West province, made headlines on August 16, when protesters, who demanded their wages be raised to over $1,000 a month, clashed with police. The crackdown claimed the lives of 36 people – miners and two policemen, and left 78 injured.
All of the 270 arrested miners, including the six hospitalized, were previously said to be charged with attempted murder or public violence. But state prosecutor Nigel Carpenter increased the charges against them.
The miners are to be tried under the “common purpose” doctrine, which implies that all participants in a criminal activity can be charged for its consequences.
“This is under common law, where people are charged with common purpose in a situation where there are suspects with guns or any weapons and they confront or attack the police and a shooting takes place, and there are fatalities,”Frank Lesenyego, spokesman for South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority, said.
The lawyers representing the Marikana strikers are expected to challenge the charges. A prior application for bail was rejected, and the hearing was delayed till September 6. Until then, the miners will remain in custody in three area police stations.
At the same time, the policemen involved in the deadly clashes at the Marikana mine will undergo a Commission of Inquiry investigation separately.
That is despite police commissioner Riah Phiyega’s confirmation a few days after the tragedy that the 34 people were killed by police. However, police officers insist that they opened fire to defend themselves against a wave of strikers armed with machetes, who allegedly charged barricades. Prior to gunshots, the police used tear gas and water cannons.
However, leaked findings of victims’ autopsies were published by the South African Star newspaper, and showed that the miners were shot in the back while running away.
The post-mortem results suggested that the strikers posed no danger to law enforcement at the time of the shooting.
An official spokesman refused to confirm or deny the accusations on what’s already being dubbed the Marikana Massacre – the most violent episode in South Africa’s history since the 1994 end of apartheid.
- South Africa’s Unfinished Revolution and the Massacre at Marikana (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Shocking autopsy: South African police ‘shot fleeing protesters in the back’ (rt.com)
BETHLEHEM – Israel on Wednesday denounced South Africa’s cabinet decision to label goods from illegal Israeli settlements as produced in the occupied Palestinian territories.
In a statement, the Israeli foreign ministry said the decision “is without precedent, as no such measure has ever been adopted in South Africa or in any other country. It constitutes therefore a blatant discrimination based on national and political distinction.”
The statement added: “Israel and South Africa have political differences, and that is legitimate. What is totally unacceptable is the use of tools which, by essence, discriminate and single out, fostering a general boycott. Such exclusion and discrimination bring to mind ideas of racist nature which the government of South Africa, more than any other, should have wholly rejected.”
The ministry said South Africa’s ambassador would be summoned Thursday.