The Farlam Commission of Inquiry sat for 300 days, from October 1 2012 to November 14 2014. The commission was mandated with uncovering the truth of the Marikana massacre. It produced and collected a mass of evidence. This evidence includes witness testimony, video footage, audio clips, photographs, the contents of the SAPS and Lonmin hard drives, meeting briefs, emails and telephone calls.
It is crucial that the historical record of the commission’s proceedings is kept, made publicly available and scrutinised. SERI has today launched a full and comprehensive set of evidence exhibits and transcripts in a single, easy-to-navigate online location.
The volume of evidence is staggering. It is replete with eyewitness and technical expert testimonies, medical and media reports, policy documents and police protocols. The police, politicians, Lonmin management and staff, union leaders, academics, journalists and miners are all represented in the exhibits.
Making the evidence available for public access will allow community activists, the public, the media and academics an opportunity to revisit the incident and judge for themselves what may have happened on those fateful days. It will provide an assurance that although the truth has often been obscured during the commission’s process — whether deliberately or unintentionally — the history of the process and the massacre will not be lost. A highly politicised climate permeated the commission and its proceedings, and returning to the primary sources, the raw material, offers an opportunity for clarity.
Today, in partnership with the South African Informal Traders Forum, SERI is launching its latest research publication - a resource guide for informal traders making a living in Johannesburg.
Informal Trade in Johannesburg: Your Rights is a resource guide for informal traders making a living in Johannesburg which spells out what their rights are, and what avenues are available to ensure those rights are protected.
Applications for leave to appeal in Moyo and Sonti will be argued this morning in the Pretoria High Court. The case concerns section 1(1)(b) of the Intimidation Act, which General Alfred Moyo and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies are arguing should be declared unconstitutional and invalid.
Lwazi Mtshiyo and Tim Fish Hodgson have written a timely reminder in the Business Day that more than 1500 days after the massacre of 37 striking workers in Marikana, their families and communities have still recieved no apology from the state, or the British mining company, Lonmin. Mtshiyo and Fish Hodgson suggest:
"The massacre has also broken, and will continue to break and bend, complex social cultures in a sudden, painful and inorganic way. Mineworkers were not only breadwinners for their families but often pillars of strength or crucial cogs in their communities. Their loss is felt deeply and widely.
As we commemorate the Sharpeville massacre and its victims, we remember the Marikana massacre and its litany of victims.
It is time for Lonmin and the state to apologise publicly for the Marikana massacre. Any less would be a failure to acknowledge the depth of the harms that have been caused under their watch. Any less would be cheapening the mineworkers and their loved ones’ constitutional rights to human dignity and to be treated with care and concern."
The families of the mineworkers killed at Marikana, mineworkers and members of the Slovo Park Community Development Forum (SPCDF), with the support of the Marikana Support Campaign, are gathered today in Slovo Park to commemorate the Sharpeville and Marikana massacres.
The event includes the launch of a new SERI short film, Bringing the Truth Home. The film highlights the pain and struggles of mineworkers and the victims’ families in the wake of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry report, which was released in June 2015. The event will raise awareness about the slow progress of the state and Lonmin in ensuring that there is justice for the victims of Marikana. The victims’ families have emphasised the depth of the harms done to themselves as dependants and the social fabric in their communities more broadly.
Watch the film below, or on our YouTube channel here.