Marikana Massacre: Victims Must Not Be Forgotten


Remember the Marikana massacre? Well today marks four years the deadly event took place and unknown to us all, prosecutors are yet to bring the perpetrators to book.

A writer who shows concern about how slowly those massacred on 20th of September 2012, were already being forgotten by South Africans particularly the government in whose hands lies the custody of all citizens, laments the level of insincerity and lack of concern on the part of the prosecution Authority to bring to book or even fire those involved in the shooting.

“When it happened, the nation was stunned: 34 people shot by the police force of a democratic SA, simply for wanting a living wage. Ten more killed in the days leading up to the massacre. Yet more deaths in its aftermath. And as the details emerged, we were even more horrified — people shot at point-blank range, people found dead with their hands tied behind their backs. Evidence that political, rather than policing, interests played a role in the decision-making,” Franny Rabkin noted on rand daily mail.

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The Marikana massacre which took place between the 10th of August and the 20th of September 2012 can be compared to the Sharpeville massacre in 1960 which took place on the 25th anniversary of a nationwide South African miners’ strike.

The protest started as a wildcat strike at a mine owned by Lonmin in the Marikana area, close to Rustenburg but the incidence became controversial after most of those who took part in the protests were shot in the back by the police.

According to the writer, the special task team as recommended by the Marikana commission of inquiry to undertake further investigations for the purposes of prosecutions are yet to come up with a report on their investigation.

This follows comments by the National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku, that the investigation is still on and that the team has been working very hard in the process, but that he cannot give me a timeline about when a decision will be made on prosecution.

“We are also still waiting for the report of the Claassen board of inquiry set up to look into whether Riah Phiyega is fit to be national police commissioner. It is expected in August. Negotiations for the settlement of civil claims are ongoing; but the families are yet to see a cent” the writer said,

“There were two days at the Marikana commission in which the families of those who died told their stories. I was there for one of the days and it is hard to capture how painful those stories were to witness…

“I have been told (by people who know) that inside the relevant state institutions, there are people who are committed to ensuring accountability and redress for Marikana. But why is it all taking so long? The worst part: Marikana has simply fallen off our agenda. Looking around at the coalition demands made by the smaller political parties, I find it hard to accept that not one has publicly demanded anything in relation to Marikana Massacre.

“What kind of people are we that we seem to be more outraged by the Nkandla scandal than by Marikana? Do we really care more about e-tolls than 44 people’s lives? I have wondered whether it is because we cannot, as a society, face the trauma. My friend said the answer is simpler than that: it is because it was poor, black, rural people who died.

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The writer concluded by calling on all citizens of South Africa to always keep to mind the Marikana Massacre and the following citizens who at Marikana, lost their lives in the fight for a better future:

 Tembelakhe Mati

Hendrick Tsietsi Monene

Sello Lepaaku

Hassan Fundi

Frans Mabelane

Thapelo Eric Mabebe

Semi Jokanisi

Phumzile Sokanyile

Isaiah Twala

Julius Langa

Molefi Ntsoele

Modisaotsile van Wyk Sagalala

Nkosiyabo Xalabile

Babalo Mtshazi

John Kutlwano Ledingoane

Bongani Cebisile

Yawa Mongezeleli Ntenetya

Henry Mvuyisi Pato

Ntandazo Nokamba

Bongani Mdze

Bonginkosi Yona

Makhosandile Mkhonjwa

Stelega Gadlela

Telang Mohai

Janeveke Raphael Liau

Fezile Saphendu

Anele Mdizeni

Mzukisi Sompeta

Thabiso Johannes Thelejane

Mphangeli Thukuza

Thobile Mpumza

Mgcineni Noki

Thobisile Zimbambele

Thabiso Mosebetsane

Andries Motlapula Ntsenyeho

Patrick Akhona Jijase

Michael Ngweyi

Julius Tokoti Mancotywa

Jackson Lehupa

Khanare Monesa

Mpumzeni Ngxande

Thembinkosi Gwelani

Dumisani Mthinti

 Mafolisi Mabiya

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