The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) says it intends to use its mega rally on Sunday as a reminder of lives lost in the days leading to the 16 August 2012 tragedy. The rally will be held in Marikana near Rustenburg in North West.

Cosatu says since the incidents of 2012, only 34 mineworkers who were killed on the 16 August are being remembered, while a blind eye has been turned on those who died before that.

Cosatu’s North West Provincial Secretary Kopano Konopi says they are also calling on police to intensify security in the platinum belt, as National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members continue to be killed.

“The focus has been mainly on the activities that took place on the 16 August in 2012, which we do not see anything wrong, but we believe that there have been developments prior to the 16th of August, in that ten people died prior to that and post the 16th of August, people died, including that some people who died while they were presenting evidence in the commission, and nothing has happened with the investigation for such people.”

The NUM has battled to regain dominance as the majority union in the platinum sector with a membership of just over 50 000 from the 170 000 it had before 2012.

Konopi says they are co-organising the rally with the NUM.

“The main purpose of the rally is to rebuild the National Union of Mineworkers, which is among the biggest affiliates. In actual fact, NUM is the biggest industrial affiliate in Cosatu. So, we want to rebuild NUM in Rustenburg and the platinum region. Prior to the 2012 developments, NUM used to boast more than 170 000 members in the platinum belt. Now, it’s about 70 000. So, we want to bring NUM back to its glory days in the platinum belt.”