Political parties weigh in on Marikana tragedy nine years on

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Nine years after the Marikana tragedy in the North West, the families of the 34 miners killed by police are still seeking justice and compensation.

This today emerged during an event to commemorate the striking Lonmin miners who lost their lives on August 16, 2012. Over 200 others were also injured.

Former DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, says there is still no justice for the families of the Marikana miners.

Maimane says the government has not delivered on its promises.

“Our tragedy today nine years on, says we have a leadership and government that is set on empty promises. We were promised action, still nothing has happened. We were promised that the president would come and apologise. Still, nothing has happened. Still, today in Marikana, nothing has changed. Instead our people are living in the worst conditions. They are still drinking water with animals in the country of their birth.”

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) says government has shown no remorse for the families.

UDM leader, Bantu Holomisa, says government hopes that people will simply forget this tragedy.

“This tragedy will remain a blot on the history of this country as it exposed South Africa’s leadership. To this day, there have been no remorse shown. No heartfelt apology. No visits to affected families from the powers that be. From a legal stand point, no one has taken responsibility and government has ducked and dived at every turn and hope that people will forget. We must not allow this to happen.”

The legal representative of the Marikana families, Dali Mpofu, says the injured mineworkers who received their payments, want to set aside about R1 million to challenge government and the Lonmin Mine for compensation.

“Government accepted liability of their wrongdoing in 2016, already. It’s now five years later, it is still have (not) compensated the people. People are dying. So, even when that compensation comes, it might be meaningless to some of the people. Even at this late hour, we are calling on government particularly, Mr Ramaphosa, to say it will be better … it’s never too late to do the right thing. It would be better if you apologise and do whatever you promised to do now rather than do it because a court has forced you to apologise.”

EFF leader,Julius Malema, has challenged the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)to prosecute President Cyril Ramaphosa for the Marikana tragedy.

Malema says if the NPA refuses, they will contemplate private prosecution.

“We call on the NPA to prosecute Ramaphosa, and if they are not going to prosecute Ramaphosa, they must issue a non-prosecution letter. As the EFF, we want to prosecute Ramaphosa through private prosecution. It’s nine years since we have opened the case. I opened the case myself at Marikana Police Station. No policeman has ever contacted me. No prosecutor has ever contacted me, which is very clear that they are covering up for each other.”

Mineworkers’ union, Amcu, says working conditions of mine workers have not changed.

Amcu President, Joseph Mathunjwa says, “Mining communities remain very poor and yet, they have precious commodities around them. We continue to demand that prior to DMR issuing mining licenses, they must make it a requirement that these companies build schools, hospitals, universities in the community before issuing license so it must be part of their license.”

Mathunjwa says they have written two letters to President Ramaphosa to accelerate the process of compensation for the Marikana victims and their families, but have not received a reply.

Victims express their ordeals in Marikana tragedy: