Remembering Marikana, 8 years on

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Sunday marks eight years since the Marikana massacre, where 34 mineworkers were killed after they were shot by heavily armed police officers. At least 279 others were injured.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) affiliated workers were on a salary strike when tragedy struck.

The union will be leading today’s commemoration event, which will be held in Johannesburg for the first time since the tragedy due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Since the killing of 34 mineworkers, the union has been hosting the commemoration at the koppie, in the North West, where the incident happened.

The commemoration will be held in Midrand at the Gracepoint Methodist Church from 10 o’clock Sunday morning.

AMCU President, Joseph Mathunjwa, says this year’s event will be a small physical gathering in order to comply with lockdown regulations.

“We communicated with all the structures of our union which they have agreed and we also consulted and engaged with the survivors and even the widows before. They gave us that mandate that yes, we can commemorate but in a way that it would not put us against the state, of which to us must abide with the regulations. There will be a physical commemoration limited to only 50 people.”

Below is a report on the massacre: 

Meanwhile, the Amcu president says they are still waiting on President Cyril Ramaphosa to come and apologise to the injured workers and widows of those killed during the Marikana tragedy in 2012.

Ramaphosa has previously made a commitment to visit Marikana.

Mathunjwa says they are hopeful that Ramaphosa will keep his promise.

“He promised the nation that he will come and we said fine we will welcome him. We will take him through the processes because it is not only the widows and the workers that were injured; even the workers in general that were traumatised and the nation at large. But this has not happened; we don’t know why he is delaying this process. We are still waiting; he is still the president of the country for that matter. He does have all the resources. So we’ve been waiting we still waiting maybe the time will come.”

Investigations into the shooting continue.