A group of five countries says they have reached a deal to challenge the U.S.-dominated World Bank and International Monetary Fund by creating their own development bank. Leaders from the so-called BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — are gathered in Durban, South Africa, for a two-day summit. Together the countries account for 25 percent of global GDP and 40 percent of the world’s population.
The South African government has sparked outrage after bringing charges against striking miners for the killings of 34 colleagues earlier this month, despite the fact they were shot dead by police. The victims were killed more than a week after walking off the job at the Marikana platinum mine in a call for higher pay. Police say they opened fire after workers tried to attack them with machetes, but the miners have accused the police of committing a massacre. The shooting marked the worst mass killing in South Africa since the end of apartheid. But on Thursday, the South African government invoked an apartheid-era “common purpose law” to charge 270 miners for their colleagues’ deaths.
Striking workers at the South African mine where police shot dead 34 people last week face a deadline to return to work today or face the loss of their jobs. The victims were killed more than a week after walking off the job at the Marikana platinum mine, owned by Lonmin, the world’s third largest producer of platinum. Police say they shot after workers armed with machetes ignored calls to disperse, but the workers’ union says the police committed a massacre. In response, South African President Jacob Zuma announced a week of national mourning as well as the formation of a commission of inquiry.
President Jacob Zuma: “I have decided to institute a commission of inquiry. The inquiry will enable us to get to the real cause of the incident and to derive the necessary lessons, too. However, today is not an occasion for blame, finger pointing or recrimination. Today challenges — today challenges us to restore calm and to share the pain of the affected families and communities.”
The shooting marked the worst mass killing in South Africa since the end of apartheid. The head of South Africa’s Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union said it evoked memories of the Sharpville massacre of 1960.
Joseph Mathunjwa: “I thought the history that I read about Sharpville massacre was a history. I never thought that in 2012 we will experience the same massacre under the democratic-elected government by ourselves. This is a shame.”
The Minister of Police must step down because this massacre was committed under his supervision, the same thing with President Zuma. He must step down.
Police in South Africa opened fire on a miners’ strike near Johannesburg on Thursday, killing at least 30 people. Government officials say the police began shooting after workers armed with machetes ignored orders to disperse. The killings followed more than a week of clashes at the Marikana platinum mine. South Africa’s Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, which represents most of the strikers, has accused the police of committing a massacre. It was one of the worst mass killings in South Africa since the end of apartheid.