In August 2012, mineworkers in one of South Africa’s biggest platinum mines began a wildcat strike for better wages. Six days later the police used live ammunition to brutally suppress the strike, killing 34 and injuring many more. Using the point of view of the Marikana miners, Miners Shot Down follows the strike from day one, showing the courageous but isolated fight waged by a group of low-paid workers against the combined forces of the mining company Lonmin, the ANC government and their allies in the National Union of Mineworkers. What emerges is collusion at the top, spiralling violence and the country’s first post-apartheid massacre. South Africa will never be the same again.
James Nichol (discussant) is from a mining family in the north of England, and campaigned against apartheid for decades. A UK defence lawyer, he acts pro bono for the families of the 34 miners who were shot dead by South African police at Marikana. Initially, he went to South Africa for two weeks, to provide advice. However, he remained for over two years, as part of a team representing the families at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry.
The screening is followed by a Q&A session with James Nichol, defence lawyer for the victims’ families.
The Labour, Social Movements and Development cluster (department of Development Studies) and the Centre for African Studies are delighted to invite staff and students to the movie screening below. All welcome. There is no need to book, and seats are allocated on a first come first served basis.
Trailer for the film, directed by Rehad Desai.