Leaders at Marikana commemoration reiterate calls for justice for deceased mineworkers

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There is still no justice for mineworkers killed during the Marikana massacre outside Rustenburg in the North West. This was a popular sentiment at the event to mark a decade since the massacre of 34 Lonmin mineworkers.

The event was held at the infamous Marikana koppie, where the mineworkers were shot and killed by the police on 16 August 2012. Ten more people were killed in the preceding days.

Lonmin employees were on strike then, demanding a R12 500 monthly salary.

Speaker after speaker said there is still no justice for the people of Marikana.  And there are more calls for President Cyril Ramaphosa to apologise to the families of Marikana victims.

Ramaphosa was a non-executive director of Lonmin at the time. The injured mineworkers are now calling for former president Jacob Zuma to be a state witness in the case.

One of the mineworkers that were badly injured at the time, Mzoxolo Magidiwana says: ” Mr Zuma must be the state witness because he was the president then. They planned this massacre together.”

The widows of the mineworkers, represented by Nosihle Ngoyi, are calling on Ramaphosa to convene a meeting with them.

“Mr Ramaphosa must not be scared to come to Marikana, as much as he sent all government resources in 2012, he must come and meet us.”

The legal representatives of the families of slain Marikana mineworkers Advocate Dali Mpufo says they will fight for President Cyril Ramaphosa and Sibanye Stillwater, who now own the mine, to apologise to the affected families.

“They must build a memorial at the koppie. They must also apologise. What’s so difficult about that?”

During his keynote address, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) President Joseph Mathunjwa harshly criticised the mine owners over the massacre.

“We are in this status of life, we are in this status of social discourse just because of the energy mineral complex. Since from the 1800s the West and the Europeans, when they came to Africa, they discovered gold and diamonds. They owe us our wealth, they owe us our land, the thief’s only intention is to steal, destroy and kill as they did here in Marikana. They are still saying to the thieves that they are investors, there’s nothing called foreign direct investors or investment. It is foreign direct thieves.”

Children of slain mineworkers want justice for their loved ones: 

He repeated a call that 16 August be declared a public holiday.

“We will fight for this day to be a public holiday for workers in South Africa. The 16th of August must be declared a public workers’ day.”

Mathunjwa says AMCU will table a demand of R20 000 per month during this year’s wage negotiations.

“Sibanye, this year we demand R20 000. This thing of R12 500 is over. If Neal Froneman can earn R300 million a year, he can afford to pay us that money.”

Mathunjwa has also cautioned the families of the deceased mineworkers that they should not be used for financial gain by some who purport to be good Samaritans.

Marikana residents say their living conditions have not improved :