On 16th August 2012, thirty-four black mineworkers were gunned down
by the police under the auspices of South Africa's African National
Congress (ANC) in what has become known as the Marikana massacre.
This attempt to drown independent working-class power in blood
backfired and is now recognised as a turning point in the country's
history. The Spirit of Marikana tells the story of the uncelebrated
leaders at the world's three largest platinum mining companies who
survived the barrage of state violence, intimidation, torture and
murder which was being perpetrated during this tumultuous period.
What began as a discussion about wage increases between two workers
in the changing rooms at one mine became a rallying cry for
economic freedom and basic dignity. This gripping ethnographic
account is the first comprehensive study of this movement,
revealing how seemingly ordinary people became heroic figures who
transformed their workplace and their country.
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