TODAY, FIVE YEARS ago police officers shot in full view of the media and their cameras into a crowd of miners in Marikana, outside Rustenburg in the North West Province.
34 lives of miners were claimed and seventy critically injured. The year was 2012 August 16.
Today, we commemorate the brothers and fathers who lost their lives.
Unfortunately, the massacre has been turned into political ploy, with the leader of Associated Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) Joseph Mathunjwa telling some members of the public with ‘no conscience’ not to attend today’s commemoration.
Yes, the latter simply referring to current deputy president Cyril Ramphosa, who then was Lonmin shareholder, who urged the police to take “concomitant action”.
Be that as it may, the miners deserve their own share of the blame: The strike had already claimed 10 lives, including two police officers butchered by striking miners before the massacre on the Koppie.
Sadly, none of the police officers has been indicted. No ministers have lost their jobs because of Marikana massacre.
As part of improving miners lives after the fateful day, Lonmin has launched the first two phases of its new apartment project at its Marikana mine to ensure there’s adequate housing for employees.
It has also unveiled its apartment project close to the company’s hostel family units.
The development, which cost R410 million as part of its R500 million social labour plan, already has 493 apartments occupied mainly by other employees.
A further 300 units are under construction and will be ready by December.
On Tuesday, Lonmin said it will reveal a design for a memorial site in Marikana, saying that it wants to begin a process of involving all role players to develop this site to honour those who lost their lives five years ago, according to Bennetor “Ben” Magara CEO at Lonmin PLC.
To the families who lost their loved ones, we send our condolences and pray improvements at the mines becomes a constant reminder of what transpired on that fateful day!