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Gloom and despair as South Africa commemorates 4th anniversary of Marikana massacre

By Crystal Orderson in Cape Town
Posted on Tuesday, 16 August 2016 10:54

The ruling party is often accused of being responsible for one of the worst massacres in post-apartheid South Africa in 2012, with activists accusing ANC of lacking remorse.

Tuesday is not an election rally, it is a sad occasion, it doesn’t matter how many people come

AMCU president, Joseph Mathunjwa said R2 million ($115,000) has been donated to the Marikana Massacre AMCU Trust Fund for affected families and pleaded for more donations and assistance from the public.

Addressing a media briefing ahead of the official anniversary on Tuesday, opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) official, Dali Mpofu said it was a “disgrace that the scene of the killings, the kopje is still not even fenced to show what happened there”.

“Tuesday is not an election rally, it is a sad occasion, it doesn’t matter how many people come” he said.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) recently announced it had opened cases against four people implicated in the Marikana shootings‚ including suspended national commissioner, Riah Phiyega and the former North West province commissioner, Zukiswa Mbombo.

A commission of enquiry established by President Jacob Zuma recommended a full investigation, under the direction of the Director of Public Prosecutions in the North West province, to ascertaining criminal liability on the part of all members of the police service involved in the shootings.

Meanwhile, a report by the global human rights group, Amnesty International, released on Monday, painted a gloomy picture for mineworkers in Marikana.

“The catastrophic events of August 2012 should have been a decisive wake-up call to Lonmin that it must address these truly appalling living conditions,” Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s director for southern Africa, said.

“The company’s failure to improve employees’ housing is baffling and irresponsible in the extreme. Lonmin is aware that dire housing contributed to the unrest four years ago that ultimately led to the death of dozens of miners.”

Amnesty International called on the Ministry of Mineral Resources to investigate and, if required, sanction Lonmin over its failure to fulfil the terms on the provision of 5,500 houses, in line with the Farlam Commission’s recommendations.

Four years ago, police shot and killed 34 striking mineworkers in Wonderkop near Marikana, in the North West Province after thousands of mine workers at Lonmin Platinum Mine embarked on a strike demanding a wage of R12,500 ($950) per month.

Ten people including two policemen and two Lonmin security guards were killed, as violence escalated, and on August 16, police shot dead 34 striking mineworkers, while 70 others were injured.

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