New Zealand group blames Zuma

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iol news pic lonmin violence 4

REUTERS

Policemen keep watch over striking miners after they were shot outside a South African mine in Rustenburg, 100 km (62 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, August 16, 2012. South African police opened fire against thousands of striking miners armed with machetes and sticks at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine, leaving several bloodied corpses lying on the ground.

A New Zealand-based organisation has blamed President Jacob Zuma and the ANC-led government for a shootout at the Lonmin mine in Marikana, in the North West, that left 34 workers dead.

Spokesman for the Global Peace and Justice Auckland (GPJA) John Minto wrote in an open letter to Zuma that the government had “blood on their hands”.

“Just as we held the apartheid regime responsible for the massacres in the 70's and 80's, we now hold the ANC government responsible for the massacre of striking mineworkers.”

Minto said members of the organisation had watched with growing alarm at the direction the ANC leadership had taken South Africa since the first democratic election in 1994.

“Under the ANC we have seen South Africa change seemlessly from race-based apartheid to economic apartheid”.

He said the strike came as a result of the ANC's choice to follow free-market economic policies.

“Such policies had always transferred wealth from the poor to the rich and stripped hope from the majority” he said.

He said the struggle for liberation was not aimed at placing a few black faces at the top table in South Africa.

New Zealand-based media outlet 3 News reported on Saturday that GPJA protesters attacked the South African consulate building in Auckland in response to the shooting.

They used red paint bombs to splatter the walls and windows and stuck the open letter on the door.

A total of 34 people were killed in a shootout that erupted near the mine on Thursday when police tried to disperse striking miners.

More than 78 people were injured. Another 10 people had by then been killed in the violent protests at the mine over the past week.

President Jacob Zuma visited Lonmin yesterday where he condemned the violence. He called for an inquiry into the incident. - Sapa


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