National 15.8.2016 07:59 am

Government hasn’t planned to commemorate Marikana

People during the commemoration rally of the second anniversary of the Marikana massacre on August 16, 2014 in Rustenburg, South Africa. Thirty-four miners were killed by police on 16 August 2012 during a violent wage increase protest. Picture: Gallo Imahes

People during the commemoration rally of the second anniversary of the Marikana massacre on August 16, 2014 in Rustenburg, South Africa. Thirty-four miners were killed by police on 16 August 2012 during a violent wage increase protest. Picture: Gallo Imahes

The North West provincial government says it does not commemorate the Marikana massacre, but intends to remember those mine workers slain in the mining town.

Tomorrow will mark four years since 34 mineworkers were shot and killed on August 16 2012 by police during a wildcat strike at Lonmin’s mine on the platinum belt.

Most commemoration events since the tragedy in 2012 have been arranged and held by other organisations, including the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, and attended by political parties.

The Citizen yesterday called government at both national and provincial level to find out if they had organised events in memory of the slain miners. But Donald Liphoko at national government said tht, with the Cabinet lekgotla meeting set for tomorrow, they would check their diaries and announce further details today.

Provincial spokesperson Brian Setwambung said he was not aware of any events planned for tomorrow, but stressed government had not forgotten about the massacre.

“It can never be true that government has forgotten about the people of Marikana because there has been a lot of development in the area in terms of the delivery of beautiful houses,” Setwambung said. “There is a reconciliation and healing forum, set up to encourage peace and to say, ‘irrespective of our differences, we must still all work together’.”

He said government’s efforts in “doing all it can to improve the living conditions of the people in Marikana” meant the area was not forgotten. Setwambung said government would attend a commemoration event, regardless of which political party had organised it, if it was invited.

“So far, government has not received any invitation.”

Economic Freedom Fighters national chairperson Dali Mpofu said the details of his party’s commemoration tomorrow would be announced today.

President Jacob Zuma appointed a commission of inquiry, led by retired Judge Ian Farlam, in the same month of the Marikana killings in 2012. The long-awaited report, released last year, exonerated key political figures, including Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was accused of having a hand in the events leading up to the massacre.

The report found that the Lonmin Platinum Mine had not sufficiently attempted to engage workers to end the strike. The commission called for an inquiry to look into suspended national police commissioner Riah Phiyega’s fitness and capacity to hold office.

– stevent@citizen.co.za

  • Steven Tau will be in Marikana tomorrow to bring you updates on the fourth anniversary of the massacre
  • For the latest updates, follow @StephenTau on Twitter

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