Marikana Massacre commemorated two years on

Marikana Massacre commemorated two years on to African National Congress (ANC) and the North West provincial government conspicuous absence. On August 16, 2012 six days after the wildcat miner’s strike  began at Lonmin mine in Marikana near Rustenburg in the North West province of South Africa, the South African Police Service (SAPS) elite special unit opened fire on a group of strikers killing 34 people and wounding a further 78.

Marikana KoppieThe incident which was quickly dubbed Marikana Massacre by the media was the single most lethal use of force by South African police force against civilians since the Sharpeville massacre of 1960 during the apartheid era and drew intense condemnation from all over the world.

On August 16, 2014 a reported crowd of 12000 gathered at the Nkaneng informal settlement in Wonderkop, near Marikana in North West to commemorate the second anniversary of the Marikana Massacre. They we joined by Joseph Mathunjwa, president of Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).

The organizers of the rally excluded the ANC and the North West province government officials from the commemoration. They reportedly did not receive invitations to the rally. ANC spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa said “[The] ANC was not invited by organizers to the Marikana anniversary today”, and added “We solemnly remember the 44 people who lost their lives in the 10 days leading up to and including 16 August 2012”.

“Had we received an invite, we would have attended it,” said Sam Mokaila, Premier Supra Mahumapelo’s spokesperson.

Dali Mpofu, representative of families of slain mine workers at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, was among those who attended as well as Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Mmusi Maimane, Anglican Bishop Johannes Seoka and Congress of the People (COPE) leader Mosiuoa Lekota.

In the rally marking the day of remembrance, Julius Malema of the EFF told the crowd that the party would build houses for the widows of the slain miners. “We are going to deliver. We want to teach the ANC government how to take care of poor of the poorer”.

The Farlam Commission of Inquiry, established by President Jacob Zuma and led by retired judge Ian Farlam, is underway in Centurion in Gauteng hearing evidence to the shooting and the events that led to the incident.

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