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#MarikanaMassacre commemorated nine years later

On this day in August 2012, the South African Police Service (SAPS) fatally gunned down 34 mineworkers at Marikana who were part of a protest for a wage increase at the Lonmin platinum mine.

#MarikanaMassacre was trending on Monday as Twitter users commemorated the massacre of miners at Marikana.

The killing of the 34 mineworkers was the culmination of a week long protest by the miners who were demanding a living wage.

The Marikana Commission of Inquiry was later established that year to investigate the massacre of the miners.

In March 2015, that commission submitted a report to then president Jacob Zuma which exonerated political figures who had been accused of having a hand in the events leading to the massacre of mineworkers, including then deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, the former minister of police Nathi Mthethwa, the former minister of mineral resources Susan Shabangu and the former commissioner of the police Ria Phiyega.

At the time of the massacre Ramaphosa was a non-executive director at Lonmin.

Twitter users remembered the leader of the striking mineworkers Mgacineni “Mambush” Noki who was also killed during the massacre.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) held a commemoration of the Marikana Massacre on Monday.

Watch the commemoration courtesy of the SABC:

The union has called for 16 August to become a holiday in honour of the miners who were massacred on the day in 2012.

Advocate Dali Mpofu, who represented the families of the victims of the massacre at The Marikana Commission, was one of the speakers at the commemoration, giving an overview of the events leading to the massacre.

During his address, Mpofu said the massacre was an issue of economic justice which has not been addressed to this day and that the mineworkers were killed because they were poor, black and were demanding a living wage.

Mpofu commended the mineworkers who without any assistance from unions and their leaders had organised and planned the protest in 2012 and had given evidence at The Marikana Commission without any “fancy presentation” when the SAPS had used state resources “to rehearse lies”, some which were contradictory.

Mpofu was expected to present a legal report at the commemoration.

 

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