FIVE YEARS AFTER MARIKANA MASSACRE, BITTER TASTE OF LOSS REMAINS

RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, Five years since the Marikana massacre in South Africa’s North West Province and the bitter taste of loss still lingers among those who remain.

Thousands of mineworkers and political leaders gathered at the infamous koppie in Marikana Wednesday to honour the 34 Lonmin mineworkers who were killed on Aug 16, 2012, a day which shook a post-Apartheid South Africa in in what many have described as a massacre.

With no arrest and no compensation in sight for surviving families, it seems justice remains evasive. While a fund has been set up to assist surviving families, the government has been lambasted for failing to compensate them.

A legal representative for the Marikana victims, Dali Mpofu, says: Arrests have been made in connection with the killings that preceded the massacre, but no police officer has been held accountable for the deaths.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU says the families of the victims of the Marikana tragedy are furious that no one has been charged for the shooting and killing 34 mineworkers five years ago. There’s also no compensation in sight for the families of the victims.

AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa says: Five years after these murders, not one person has been punished. Five years later, our communities still suffer, without proper housing and basic services. There’s still a lot to be done.

“The journey may be long with many, many challenges to be overcome. However, nothing will deter us. This journey is one worth travelling in our quest for truth and justice.

An email sent by the then non-executive director of Lonmin Mine, now South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, calling for “concomitant action” to deal with the violence surrounding the labour dispute between the mining company, Lonmin, and the mineworkers, has been central for those arguing that some blame for the tragedy must be laid at Ramaphosa’s door.

This is despite the Farlam Commission, which investigated the tragedy, finding that Ramaphosa should not be held liable for the deaths which occurred.

The Secretary-General of the ruling Afican National Congress (ANC), Gwede Mantashe, said Wednesday that as South Africa marked five years since the tragedy, this incident should not be used to score political points.

You never use a disaster to score political points; that is our approach; it has always been our approach; we will continue doing that. But we sympathise with the Marikana case. Our view is that the question of the socio-economic standing of the situation, provision of housing, schools and so forth, should be prioritised in Marikana. That’s the only way you can deal with the situation in Marikana.

The ANC Deputy President has since been barred by the families who lost their loved ones that day as well as AMCU from all celebrations commemorating Aug 16. Ramaphosa subsequently communicated, that he would respect the wishes of the families and not attend any of the events — a move which political analyst Somadoda Fikeni says was the best move possible.

I think it is a reasonable thing to respect the wishes of the families, rather to use the might of the State, saying ‘I’m going to go to it anyway’. That in itself, and humbling yourself, is actually a positive thing because one of the skills of being a leader is to be sensitive … is to have emotional intelligence, is to anticipate things, and yield where they have to yield, and listen where they have to listen.

“The moment a leader listens to himself, believes in himself, they are likely to lose people in the process and create lots more tension.

Meanwhile, Lonmin Platinum chief executive officer Ben Magara has called on stakeholders to work together to bring about positive change.

A very sad week from the 8th to the 16th of August. We lost 44 of our colleagues at Lonmin. Marikana 2012 can be a catalyst for positive change. My message to all of you today is, ‘If we work together, we will achieve even more’.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

FIVE YEARS AFTER MARIKANA MASSACRE, BITTER TASTE OF LOSS REMAINS

RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, Five years since the Marikana massacre in South Africa’s North West Province and the bitter taste of loss still lingers among those who remain.

Thousands of mineworkers and political leaders gathered at the infamous koppie in Marikana Wednesday to honour the 34 Lonmin mineworkers who were killed on Aug 16, 2012, a day which shook a post-Apartheid South Africa in in what many have described as a massacre.

With no arrest and no compensation in sight for surviving families, it seems justice remains evasive. While a fund has been set up to assist surviving families, the government has been lambasted for failing to compensate them.

A legal representative for the Marikana victims, Dali Mpofu, says: Arrests have been made in connection with the killings that preceded the massacre, but no police officer has been held accountable for the deaths.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU says the families of the victims of the Marikana tragedy are furious that no one has been charged for the shooting and killing 34 mineworkers five years ago. There’s also no compensation in sight for the families of the victims.

AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa says: Five years after these murders, not one person has been punished. Five years later, our communities still suffer, without proper housing and basic services. There’s still a lot to be done.

“The journey may be long with many, many challenges to be overcome. However, nothing will deter us. This journey is one worth travelling in our quest for truth and justice.

An email sent by the then non-executive director of Lonmin Mine, now South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, calling for “concomitant action” to deal with the violence surrounding the labour dispute between the mining company, Lonmin, and the mineworkers, has been central for those arguing that some blame for the tragedy must be laid at Ramaphosa’s door.

This is despite the Farlam Commission, which investigated the tragedy, finding that Ramaphosa should not be held liable for the deaths which occurred.

The Secretary-General of the ruling Afican National Congress (ANC), Gwede Mantashe, said Wednesday that as South Africa marked five years since the tragedy, this incident should not be used to score political points.

You never use a disaster to score political points; that is our approach; it has always been our approach; we will continue doing that. But we sympathise with the Marikana case. Our view is that the question of the socio-economic standing of the situation, provision of housing, schools and so forth, should be prioritised in Marikana. That’s the only way you can deal with the situation in Marikana.

The ANC Deputy President has since been barred by the families who lost their loved ones that day as well as AMCU from all celebrations commemorating Aug 16. Ramaphosa subsequently communicated, that he would respect the wishes of the families and not attend any of the events — a move which political analyst Somadoda Fikeni says was the best move possible.

I think it is a reasonable thing to respect the wishes of the families, rather to use the might of the State, saying ‘I’m going to go to it anyway’. That in itself, and humbling yourself, is actually a positive thing because one of the skills of being a leader is to be sensitive … is to have emotional intelligence, is to anticipate things, and yield where they have to yield, and listen where they have to listen.

“The moment a leader listens to himself, believes in himself, they are likely to lose people in the process and create lots more tension.

Meanwhile, Lonmin Platinum chief executive officer Ben Magara has called on stakeholders to work together to bring about positive change.

A very sad week from the 8th to the 16th of August. We lost 44 of our colleagues at Lonmin. Marikana 2012 can be a catalyst for positive change. My message to all of you today is, ‘If we work together, we will achieve even more’.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK