Four years ago 34 miners were murdered in Marikana by the ANC on the instruction of the white capitalist Lonmin, for simply demanding a living wage. The ANC government immediately blamed the striking blacks for daring to go against white monopoly capital. As the bodyguard of white capital the response of the ANC was not surprising. It set up a Commission of Inquiry which has served to hide the truth and to undermine the justified anger of blacks. It was then 18 years after democracy and the post ’94 neo liberal settlement had delivered nothing meaningful to the black majority – all the ills of white supremacy from landlessness to starvation wages to poverty to a lack of sanitation, decent housing and clean running water etcetera still characterized black life. Against this backdrop the legacy of Bloody Marikana must serve to pave the path towards the institutional destruction of capitalist imperialism represented by the likes of Lonman and Johann Rupert in SA.
Marikana has given us a significant layer of revolutionaries who have cast their eyes firmly on destroying white monopoly capital. We can see how the Marikana legacy, via the message of BLF in its revolutionary call, finds its logical consolidation in the ideas of Biko, Sobukwe and Thomas Sankara. With this legacy guided by the Sankofa approach of learning from the past in order to move forward BLF draws lessons from Marikana to resolve the big questions relating to decolonization being land return, nationalisation of the economy and so on.
Since Marikana, the potential for blacks being ready to embark on a path for the overthrowal of the anti black rule is growing but the absence of a revolutionary movement until the inception of BLF kept this initiative contained within neo-liberalism.
BLF captured the Marikana legacy at the core of its liberation efforts. This is evidenced inter alia by its identification of the real enemy of black liberation being white monopoly capital; going against apartheid era white capitalists and politicians who looted R26 billion from the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), and proceeding against white capitalists for capture of the SA State.
The Marikana workers were murdered in their just fight for a living wage of R12500 – a fight that is in essence a battle for the return of our land and mineral wealth. Only through land return to blacks for collective ownership without payment to the land thieves and by nationalization of the mines that gives workers ownership, control and management, can the legacy of the Marikana workers be truly honored.
BLF calls on the ANC government to do the following:
Declare and implement a living wage of R12 500.
Pay reparations to the families of the murdered workers for their pain, suffering and loss of income.
Nationalise the mines and place them under direct worker’s control
Give the dependents of the murdered workers shares in those mines.
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE OF THE BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST MOVEMENT
16 August 2016
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