Marikana fallout

by | Aug 22, 2016 | General | 1 comment

Dear Public Protector,

  1. Today is four years exactly since the death of 34 miners at Marikana.
  2. The President appointed a commission of inquiry into those and ten other deaths.
  3. The commission has reported and has made recommendations, in particular in section H of Chapter 25 of the report of the commission “Lonmin’s Housing obligations under the SLPs” are dealt with and the commission recommends that “Lonmin’s failure to comply with the housing obligations under the SLPs should be drawn to the attention of the Department of Mineral Resources, which should take steps to enforce performance of these obligations by Lonmin.”
  4. To date only 3 of the promised 5500 housing units have been built, accordingly Lonmin remains in breach of its housing obligations and the Department of Mineral Resources (the Department) appears to have done nothing to enforce performance of the housing obligations of Lonmin despite the passage of many years and the publication of the report of the commission last year.
  5. You will have noted from press reports that Amnesty International has compiled a weighty report on Marikana. See e.g. page 22 of the latest edition of the Mail and Guardian newspaper ( and the report in Legalbrief Today dated 16 August 2016. The matter of Lonmin’s breach of its housing obligations is dealt with critically by Amnesty International in its said report.
  6. It is not clear to us whether the provisions of section H of chapter 25 of the commission’s report have been drawn to the attention of the Department of Mineral Resources by the President, but it is certain, given the absence of 5,497 houses, that there has been  a failure on its part to implement the commission’s recommendation that it take steps to enforce Lonmin’s housing obligations at Marikana. Either way, there is a prima facie case of maladministration on the part of the Department that cries out for investigation in terms of your powers under section 182 of the Constitution.
  7. The informally housed miners in the vicinity of the Marikana mine operated by Lonmin live in squalid conditions that are a violation of their right to access to adequate housing and sanitation, a right which the state and the Department are obliged to respect, protect, promote and fulfil under section 26 of the Bill of Rights read with section 7(2) thereof. Risks to life,health and psychological integrity when inadequate pit latrines become flooded in the wet season are extreme enough to justify the fast tracking of your investigation of this complaint as well as a possible referral by you of the issue to the Human Rights Commission insofar as threats to and infringements of human rights are concerned.
  8. Your focus will naturally be on the situation as between Lonmin and the Department, which is not a human rights issue but rather a matter of the proper administration of the mining licence which has been granted to Lonmin by the Department on certain conditions in relation to the provision of housing for mine workers in the employ of Lonmin. It appears that the Department has been supine concerning the breach of conditions relating to the provision of said housing.
  9. The failure  of the Department to take steps to enforce Lonmin’s housing obligations at its Marikana mine seems to us to be the cause of a great deal of human misery and suffering that, with good governance and the correction of maladministration on the part of the Department, could be avoided completely.
  10. Kindly acknowledge receipt of this complaint and let us know whether, in the assessment process of the complaint, it qualifies for fast tracking.


Yours in accountability,


Paul Hoffman SC


Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa

Campaigning as Accountability Now


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1 Comment

  1. ADI

    Prior to 1994 we had requested the ANC to outlaw the RACIST NP….ANC “vision” were to EMBRACE…We fought them in a myriad of institutions(NP)….THEN elections came….SHOCK & HORROR….NP WON…..WHY…..Comunity leaders exclaimed …”BETTER THE DRVIL WE KNOW”….NAZI’s should be prosecuted….NOT EMBRACED….The “compromise”is LARGELY responsible for our PRESENT condition….NP. (NATIONALISTS)…..ANC….(NATIONALISTS)….two sides of the SAME coin…..ANSWERE THIS….WHO taught the ANC governance…(Remember….they were resistance…NOT governance)


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