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What are commemorations without justice?, asks Marikana widow

todayAugust 16, 2023 32

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The families of the mine workers who were shot and killed in Marikana 11 years ago are still reeling from the brutality.
They say the gatherings at the infamous Marikana, Koppie, are slowly becoming futile if no one is being held accountable for the killings that changed their lives completely.
The blood of 34 mine workers was shed on the streets of the North West when police opened fire on protesters on the 16th of August 2012 at the Lonmin Platinum Mine.
The tragedy was the culmination of a six-week strike for better wages and living conditions by the mine workers, who ended upย paying the highest price with their own lives. More than 70 of their colleagues were injured in the cold-blooded incident.
The organisations representing some of the bereaved families say they are still in the pursuit for justice.
“We are still calling on the state to come forward and show some commitment and show that they really want to see that there is justice for Marikana.
“We are still calling on the current president of the country, who was the deputy president at the time, who was since proven in court that he was liable in his actions for what happened in Marikana , we are still calling for him to come engage the widows as promised at Mama Winnie Madikizela Mandela’s funeral.”
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) deputy president, Phuthuma Manyathi, says they will continue to fight until those who gave the instruction for the killing of workers in Marikana are brought to book.
Manyathi says the lack of accountability and the spirit of impunity cannot continue unabated in South Africa.
He says there must be a face that gave the orders, which led to the death of innocent workers.
The The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has reaffirmed its commitment to dealing with criminal proceedings relating to the massacre.
NPA spokesperson in North West, Henry Mamothame, says there is a case before the high court against the police officer who killed two miners in Marikana.
“Currently, there is a case where General Mpembe and five other police officers, Colonel Salmon Vermaak, Constable Nkosana Mguye, Warrant Officer Katlego Sekgweleya, Warrant Officer Masilo Mogale and Warrant Officer Khazamola Makhubela, charged with the murder of three police officers and two miners who died during the confrontation between the police and miners, preceding the incident of 16 August 2012.”
The matter will be heard in November for trial and the state is expected to call on more witnesses to prove its case.
Zuma implicated
Gift of the Givers founder, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, has meanwhile revealed that he was instructed to stop feeding the striking mine workers during the week-long stay off.
“There were two calls. The first call came from a person who said they are from Luthuli House and said the old man has said you should stop feeding the miners. So I said who is the old man? They said the president.
“I said why would he say that? They said stop feeding the miners and they will come to the table and the protest action will stop.”
Sooliman says he then requested that then President, Jacob Zuma, call him directly and refused to heed to the call and continued to supply food parcels to workers.

Many South Africans have taken to social media to remember the day, which some political commentators say marked a very dark time in South African history.

 

Written by: Lindiwe Mpanza

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