South Africa must put people before profit – bishop

If structural issues in South Africa’s mining industry are not tackled soon, the country will see a repeat of the 2012 Marikana massacre, according to the head of South Africa’s episcopal conference’s Justice and Peace Commission.

Bishop Abel Gabuza, responding to the publication of an inquiry report, warned that another Marikana could happen “if we continue to pursue a brand of mining economy that puts profit before people”.

44 people were killed, 70 wounded, and 250 arrested during a 2012 miners’ strike, with 34 people being killed on one day alone when police fired on thousands of striking miners at the Marikana platinum mine. 17 people, the commission established, were shot in the back while fleeing.

“Our hearts are with the families who lost their loved ones and are struggling to find healing and closure as they try to make sense of the findings of the Marikana report”, said Dr Gabuza, adding, “There is also a need for healing in the whole Country from the culture of structural violence”.