Scores of mineworkers are expected to gather at the infamous Marikana Koppie near Rustenburg in the North West to commemorate the killing of 34 mineworkers in 2012.
Their deaths followed a protracted strike by mineworkers demanding better wages and living conditions.
In the days preceding the killing of 34 mineworkers by police, at least 10 people were killed including security guards, mineworkers and police officials.
Association of Mineworkers & Construction Union (AMCU) President Joseph Mathunjwa is expected to deliver today’s key note address flanked by the widows of the 34 deceased mineworkers, while messages from both the survivors of the massacre and the widows of the deceased will also be heard.
NPA accused of dragging its feet
The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) has lambasted the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for delaying the prosecution for the gruesome killings of the 34 mineworkers.
The institute, which represents widows and families of the mine workers, says the NPA does not take the plight of the families seriously and that it is shocking that the NPA has not decided to bring any legal action, despite having received dockets from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) some time ago.
Nomzamo Zondo of SERI explains: “The NPA does not take the plight of the family seriously. IPID has confirmed to us that the dockets have been handed over to the NPA. We’re now eleven years in and every day that passes undermines the possibilities of justice for the family.”
“The experience having watched the prosecution, this requires a lot of time and therefore you’re negotiating for time between the defence attorney, the prosecution and the court. So, even the amount of time that will be needed once the prosecution starts, means we’d still be here at the 20th anniversary of Marikana.”
The NPA has blamed this on a shortage of human resources.
North West National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Henry Mamothame says, “In relation to the Marikana matters involving the 34 miners who died on 16 august 2022, the voluminous docket which was initially dealt with at the NPA national office, was returned to the North West division for decision mid-2022.”
“At the time, the division had a challenge on unfilled vacancies, which resulted in the slow process of studying the docket. That has since been resolved by the filling of posts in 2023. The team has been assembled to study the massive docket to fast track the finalization of reaching the decision on the direction that is to be taken.”
-Additional reporting by Tebogo Phakedi
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