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.
The Marikana massacre which took place on 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 about the 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.
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:
Hendrick Tsietsi Monene
Thapelo Eric Mabebe
Modisaotsile van Wyk Sagalala
John Kutlwano Ledingoane
Yawa Mongezeleli Ntenetya
Henry Mvuyisi Pato
Janeveke Raphael Liau
Thabiso Johannes Thelejane
Andries Motlapula Ntsenyeho
Patrick Akhona Jijase
Julius Tokoti Mancotywa