New book alert! Marikana: A People’s History by Julian Brown – ‘the authoritative book on its topic’
More about the book!
Marikana: A People’s History by Julian Brown is out now from Jacana Media.
‘The Marikana families have long awaited a story which reflects their lives before and after the massacre with honesty and depth. This is that story.’ – Nomzamo Zondo
2022 marks the 10-year anniversary of the massacre of 34 miners by police at Marikana.
On 16 August 2012, the South African police shot dead 34 men and injured hundreds more, bringing to an end a week-long strike at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana. None of the murdered people posed a threat to any police officer.
Existing studies of this nation-shaping and internationally significant event have often overlooked the experiences and perspectives of the striking miners themselves. Now, for the first time, the men’s lives – and deaths – are put at the centre of the story.
Placing the strike in the context of South Africa’s long history of racial and economic exclusion, explaining how the miners came to be in Marikana, how their lives were ordinarily lived and the substance of their complaints, Brown shows how the strike developed from an initial gathering into a mass movement of more than 3,000 workers.
Drawing on interviews with strikers and their families, he tells the stories of those who embarked on the strike, those who were killed, and the attempts of the families of the deceased to identify and bury their dead. Brown also provides a comprehensive review of the subsequent Commission of Inquiry and points to the politics of solidarity with the Marikana miners that have emerged since.
‘The Marikana massacre was and is a major event in South Africa’s recent labour and political history. This text draws upon a rich interview base to offer a detailed narrative and a persuasive analysis of the miners’ actions informed by insider voices, that is, by participants. … [It] will be the authoritative book on its topic.’ – Tom Lodge, University of Limerick
About the author
Julian Brown is Associate Professor of Political Studies at Wits University. He is author of The Road to Soweto: Resistance and the Uprising of 16 June 1976 and South Africa’s Insurgent Citizens: On Dissent and the Possibility of Politics.