Tight security expected at NWest Sopa in Marikana

AFP/File / Alexander Joe
South African miners are pictured on a march near Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana in January 2014 during a series of strikes by workers

North West police said the area would be a security environment zone from 6am on Friday.

Security is expected to be tight at the opening of the North West Provincial Legislature and the State-of-the-Province Address (Sopa) in Marikana near Rustenburg on Friday.

Preparation were at an advanced stage on Thursday. A marquee tent was erected near the community hall expected to house about 1,500 guests at the opening of the provincial legislature, and a media centre was set up with a steel fence erected to secure the area.

North West police said the area would be a security environment zone from 6am on Friday.

“To avoid unnecessary congestion, uninvited members of the community are humbly requested not to go near the venue. The Marikana Hall and the vicinity will be security environment zone from 6am until after the State-of-the-Province Address,” spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said.

Members of the community were urged to cooperate with the law enforcement officials in order to ensure safety and that the daily activities were not part of the opening of the legislature continue without any hindrance.

North West premier Supra Mahumapelo would deliver the Sona in Marikana, just six years after Marikana tragedy, where 44 people were killed during a violent wildcat strike at Lonmin Platinum Mine operation in Marikana during August 2012.

Thirty-four mineworkers were killed on August 16, 2012 when the police shot them, the incident occurred about 10 kilometers away, and about two kilometer from where low cost houses were forcefully occupied in January 2016, the scene of the brutal murder of SA National Civic Organisation leader Sabata Petros Chale in December 2016.

Fourteen men including Forum 4 Service Delivery councillor Napoleon Webster are standing trial for Chale’s murder in the North West High Court sitting in Mogwase, the trial continues on Friday.

Mahumapelo was expected to reflect on the highlights of his administration, in terms of the vision to rebrand, reposition and renewal of the North West province.

Sopa would be streamed live on provincial government’s social media platforms, and  broadcast live on all the North West based radio stations and on television.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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