Sunday, January 6, 2013

Marikana: A View from the Mountain and a Case to Answer - book launched today at University of Johannesburg

Marikana: A View from the Mountain and a Case to Answer,

is authored by UJ professor Peter Alexander, the South African

Research in Social Change, and a team of researchers that includes

Thapelo Lekowa, Botsang Mmope, Luke Sinwell and Bongani Xeswi.

The launch will be facilitated by Prof. Adam Habib, UJ’s deputy vicechancellor

for research. The event will also be addressed by one of the

leaders of the Marikana strike and by the authors.

The heart of the book is a series of interviews with strikers, most of

them recorded on ‘the mountain’ close to where 34 of their comrades

were killed on 16 August. Prof. Jane Duncan, chair of Media and

Information Studies at Rhodes University says: ‘The book provides

a bottom-up account of the Marikana story, to correct an imbalance

in many official and media accounts that privilege the viewpoints

of governments and business, at the expense of workers.’ Prof. John

Saul, the Canadian political scientist, one of the world’s top experts

on liberation struggle in Southern Africa, comments that the book is:

‘well written, extremely scrupulous in its research and forceful in its


Despite the relevance of the book for the work of the inquiry, and

although it is based on academic research by a team lead by one of

the country’s top social scientists, the Farlam Commission refused

to receive a copy, arguing that to do so ‘may create a perception of

bias on the part of the commission’. Alexander comments: ‘The launch

will provide an opportunity for the media and the public to join a

discussion about the Marikana book the Marikana Commission does

not want to consider’.

The book is published by Jacana Media, and press copies are available

from Jacana’s Neilwe Mashigo.

Prof Alexander is available for comment on 082 332 8802.

978-1-4314-0733-0 • Paperback

210x148mm • 144pp • November 2012

RRP R120.00 • World rights

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