This week marks the fourth anniversary of the Marikana massacre. An unprotected strike by about 3,000 Lonmin employees culminated in the violent deaths of 34 people on August 16 2012, at the hands of the SA Police Service. This was preceded by the murders of 10 people by their colleagues in the previous two weeks. And 10 more were murdered in the following days.This orgy of violence had its origins in 2009, in the form of unprotected strikes by some Impala Platinum workers, followed by those at Anglo American Platinum. They wanted wages of at least R12,500/month. The median entry-level pay for mine work at the time was R4,000/month across the companies.What followed in the next few years was a complete failure of leadership by all stakeholders in the industry.From the then-worker representative National Union of Mineworkers, the employers (particularly Lonmin), management teams and shareholders, to government; all were found wanting. When bold and decisive leadership was most needed...

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