Massacre Of 34 Miners In South Africa: The Nigerian Army Threatens To Kill Electricity Workers In Nigeria

Photo credit: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
By Femi Falana, SAN

Last Thursday was a sad day in the history of independent South Africa when black policemen opened fire on striking miners, killed 34 of them and injured 78 others. In a provocative statement issued by the Authorities of the South Africa Police Service it was claimed that the brutal attack was carried out in self-defense. But the video footage of the incident has clearly shown that the miners were running away from teargas smoke when the police engaged in the reckless shooting and killed them.

The Police Commissioner who made the callous and insensitive statement should be fired for the desperate move to cover up the heinous crime committed by the murderers in police uniform.

The cold murder of the miners is a tragic reminder of the white police firing at anti apartheid protesters and school children in the 1960s and 1970s. Now it is a police force dominated by blacks that is killing miners and other oppressed people in South Africa who are justifiably demanding for the dividend of the liberation struggle.

Instead of addressing the demands of the miners for improved wages and nationalization of the white controlled mining industry the Jacob Zuma Administration ignored the workers until the Police decided to kill 34 of them. The strike provides a golden opportunity for the African National Congress to arrest the growing inequality between a white minority of bourgeoisie joined by a tiny black elite and the majority of black people wallowing in abject poverty. President Zuma who had based his campaign on black empowerment should be blamed for the xenophobic attacks and police killing of the oppressed Africans in a free South África.

Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the killing of the miners the setting up of a commission of inquiry by President Zuma is totally uncalled for. This was the methodology of the apartheid regime to douse tension, divert attention and shield official killers from prosecution. The commission should be wound up while all the murder suspects should be arrested and charged to court for homicide. Let the Police Authorities go to the court to plead self-defense on behalf of the suspects.

In a similar situation the Federal Government of Nigeria has deployed a detachment of the Nigerian Army to the headquarters of the Power Holding Company in Abuja to deal with the unarmed workers who are demanding for payment of their legitimate entitlements from the authorities before the privatization of the company. Having collected about N300 million which was illegally diverted from the Federal Ministry of Power the Army Authorities are hell bent on flushing out the striking workers to pave way for the planned liquidation of the assets of the PHCN. As all efforts by the Nigeria Labour Congress and other interest groups to persuade the Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji to end the military occupation have failed the armed troops have threatened to "deal ruthlessly" with the workers. It means that the soldiers may open fire on the striking workers any moment from now.

In order to prevent the killing of unarmed electricity workers by the armed goons the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan should order the Chief of Army Staff to end the siege. The Authorities of the Ministry of Power and the Bureau of Public Enterprises should equally be prevailed upon by the Federal Government to enter into meaningful negotiations with the striking workers without any further delay.

Femi Falana

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Tyranny has no colour, knows

Tyranny has no colour, knows no race!

PHC executives are criminals

Sahara reporters, you are not in Nigeria so you might not know why ordinary Nigerians should be happy with the decision taking by the government. I must confess to you that since Army occupy PHC head office in Abuja we’ve been enjoying power supply which we have been paying for in the past without it. The top executives of the PHC are all criminals. They have frustrated us for a very long time. They adopt all kind of tricks to deny us this power supply to keep collecting money from the government for their selfish interest. The best thing that will happen to us is to allow full-scale privatization of PHC so that we can achieve success. We are tired of the suffering and pains deliberately inflicted on us by the PHC executives.

PHCN pre mises: Army' occupation is retrogressive

The deployment of military men to PHCN premises due to legitimate demand by workers is retrogressive and despotic. The Govt. of President Goodluck Jonathan should adhere to tenets of democracy by ordering the immediate withdrawal of the brute force from the PHCN premises and replace them with civil police just to maintain law and order. On the part of the worker, i would appeal for decorum in their pursuit of their legitimate right and above all put the interest Nigerians first.

@goje.... YOU ARE A BIG FOOL.

The people destroying PHCN are those at the top (ceo's, directors, managers) and not this poor workers standing in the scorching sun seeking negotiations.

If you can not differentiate between ordinary phcn workers and phcn cabals by now, it is your palava.

But keep your senseless post to yourself, calling Falana a retard? you should be pistol whipped.

Learn to separate issues.

The issue here is not power supply but the legitimate and fundamental rights of the people. The SA miners are asking for their rights; the Nigerian workers are asking for their rights and these two rights across international boundaries are independent of job performance. For the SA case the police must be held responsible for such a sordid act. In fact the police head could face the ICC. And should a similar thing happen in the present case in Nigeria Barth Nnaji and the military culprit would face also the ICC. It is time an example was made in Nigeria as deterrent to the trigger-happy military and policemen who see civilians as game animals that must be killed at all times.

Problem solving mechanism

If killing them will solve our power problem abeg soldiers don't waste This is improvement in power supply and we want it to improve more.

Black Africans are their own worst enemy!

The recent killings of innocent South-African Miners by a gang of policemen is all indication that nothing has changed in the liberation of South Africans.These killings by South African police officers has been documented for awhile. These officers are known to kill with impunity as they are protected by higher ups.
One thing that amazes me is that, blacks are always quick to kill one another but are slow in confronting their enemies.If the recent killings were 34 White South-African Miners I am very mindful that all hell would have broke loose.The White Extremist/Supremist groups would have don their gears and invoke war against the South African state.
During the apartheid era, the world witnessed similar orgy of killings of blacks by the aparatus of White oppressive regimes in South Africa. How sad it is that those once oppressed are replaying the evils of the past and while the Father of "NEW" South-Africa Nelson Mandela is still alive to see it.


Goje,if your father,child or mother were to be a staff of NEPA would you make such a blood thirsty suggestion?Be responsible my dear man.

hmmmmm, its a small world o,

hmmmmm, its a small world o, if u kill without respect for life, your own judgement day will come.. Follow me at to get my daily news bits

Please military should go ahead

we won't mind if it will solve the problem of electricity.

i dey laugh

Can someone tell this retard that nigerians will love to see PHCN workers killed like felana...I don't think you know how nigerians hated these fools working in phcn...pls nigerian military don't hesitate to fire them whenever they chose to hold us hostage...union kem