Some Marikana Massacre victims yet to be compensated

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While millions of rands of compensation were paid to the families of the 34 mineworkers who died and those who were injured and arrested during the Marikana Massacre in August 2012, there are others who say they have not received any payout yet.

To make matters worse, communication between them and their legal representatives has dried up. The incident stems from a prolonged labour strike at Lonmin’s Mine in Marikana outside Rustenburg 11 years ago.

A demand for better wages and living conditions escalated due to the breakdown of negotiations between the mining company and labour unions.

Thirty four mine workers were shot and killed by police eleven years ago and many others injured leading to large claims for compensation.

In August, the solicitor general said more than R335 million in claims had been settled by government but some say they are still waiting for their matters to be concluded.

Some mineworkers say they are not finding any answers regarding their issues.

“As a Lonmin worker that time we were attacked on the mountain by government some of us died, some injured and others arrested. After that we got lawyers who represented us at court. As time went on the lawyers dumped us we don’t know why. Some cases were incomplete like the one against Ramaphosa and that of 16 workers who were arrested. We hear rumors that the cases are complete but no official information from lawyers. We tried calling them to no avail. We even organised transport, went to Pretoria but could find them.”

Another says they did receive something from government.

“We got compensated by government. They were representing other workers in other cases but have now gone AWOL. We don’t know why they no longer communicating with us. They said there is a case against Ramaphosa and Lonmin but it’s all quiet now. Lonmin is now taken over by Sibanye. We did not see the lawyers during Marikana commemoration, government appointed its lawyers to deal with compensation issue but we did not have lawyers to represent us. We humble request that the lawyers come back and represent us.”

Nobantu Skhuze says her husband died before receiving compensation.

Skhuze says, “He was shot during protests at the Koppie and died in 2015. The case is incomplete. His name was always called in the meeting. I was called and a lawyer said he is representing my late husband in the case. We attended a case in Pretoria several times. Last year he said the court is on recess I must go back home. This year when I call him, he says he is still waiting for a court date. He is no longer communicating.”

Meanwhile, their legal counsel Andries Nkome says only two people have not been compensated yet.

“We only have two outstanding matters for the Marikana injured miners and we had a meeting with the state attorney the past week where they were promising to make an offer for the finalisation of those matters. Now we spoke to those clients past Friday giving them an update in respect of the matter. So, there is no way they can be an issue in relation to our communication, they are up to date and we communicate weekly and tell them the status of the matter.”

While the specific dates of payments remain pending, lawyers say the matter will be settled after the state has made proposals.