There is still no justice for the miners killed in the Marikana massacre near Rustenburg in the north west of the country. That was the popular view at an event marking a decade since the murder of 34 Lonmin miners.
The event was held in the infamous Marikana pit, where on August 16, 2012, the police shot dead the miners. Ten more people died in the previous days.
Lonmin workers went on strike then, demanding 12,500 rand monthly wages.
Speaker after speaker said there was still no justice for the people of Marikana. And there are renewed calls for President Cyril Ramaphosa to apologize to the families of the Marikana victims.
At the time, Ramaphosa was a non-executive director of Lonmin. The affected miners are now demanding that former president Jacob Zuma become a state witness in the case.
One of the miners who was seriously injured at the time, Mzoxala Magidiwana, says: “Mr Zuma should be a state witness because he was the president at the time. They planned this massacre together.”
The miners’ widows, represented by Nosihle Ngoi, are calling on Ramaphosa to call a meeting with them.
“Mr Ramaphosa should not be afraid to come to Marikana, because he committed all the resources of the state in 2012, he should come and meet us.”
Legal representatives for the families of the slain Marikana miners, lawyer Dali Mpufo, say they will fight for President Cyril Ramaphosa and Sibanye Stillwater, who now own the mine, to apologize to the affected families.
“They should put a memorial on the hill. They should also apologize. What’s so difficult about that?”
During his keynote address, Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa harshly criticized the mine owners for the massacre.
“We are in this status of life, we are in this status of social discourse only because of the energy mineral complex. Since the 1800s, the West and Europeans, coming to Africa, discovered gold and diamonds. They owe us our wealth, they owe us our land, the thief’s only intention is to steal, destroy and kill as they did here in Marikana. They still tell the thieves that they are investors, there is no such thing as foreign direct investors or investment. These are directly foreign thieves.”
The children of the dead miners want justice for their loved ones:
He repeated the call to declare August 16 as a day off.
“We will fight to make this day a public holiday for South African workers. August 16 should be declared the day of public workers.”
Mathunjwa says AMCU will make a demand of R20,000 a month during this year’s wage negotiations.
“Sibanye, this year we are demanding 20,000 rand. This 12,500 rand case is over. If Neil Frohnman can make R300 million a year, he can afford to pay us that money.”
Mathunjwa also warned the families of the dead miners that those posing as good Samaritans should not use them for financial gain.
Residents of Marijana say that their living conditions have not improved: