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Some of Marikana claimants were paid-Solicitor General

SOLICITOR-GENERAL Fhedzisani Pandelani says the government was a caring State.

Some of Marikana claimants were paid-Solicitor General

This follows confirmation that over R170 million was paid to different classes of claimants who were affected by the Marikana massacre.

Nine years later, the government has responded to questions about the status of reparations for the victims of the Marikana massacre, where the police killed 36 people.

Pandelani said that the government wanted demystify the narrative that it was not caring.

“We are a caring state and in terms of the provisions of the Constitution, we need to be responsive to these claims. And of course, when one stands here and when that gap that says we might have probably not gotten things right, but it is not for lack of trying,” Pandelani said.

He explained that some claims were filed for loss of support, grief and emotional suffering while others dealt with loss of family or parental support, general and constitutional damages.

So far, a single payment was made in June 2017 to a claimant represented by the Wits Law Clinic.

R69 million was paid to 35 claimants, represented by the Socio-Economic Rights Institute, on behalf of the families of the deceased.

However, this matter has not been concluded. R97.6 million was paid to Nkome Attorneys on behalf of 253 of 275 claimants.

Pandelani also stressed that 35 claimants refused the Gvt’s R500k’s offer.

Meanwhile, EFF leader Julius Malema says his party will push for the private prosecution of President Cyril Ramaphosa over his alleged role in the 2012 Marikana massacre due to the failure of the police and the prosecuting authorities to work on the case Malema opened against him.

Malema made the announcement as various organisations commemorated the killing of 34 and injuring of 78 striking mineworkers by the police as they demanded wage increases and improvements to their working conditions by Lonmin mine, of which Ramaphosa was a director.

While it was revealed that Ramaphosa had sent an email in which he called for “concomitant action” into what he described as criminal acts during the strike, he had been cleared by the Farlam commission of inquiry into the tragedy.

Mining union Amcu on Monday held a hybrid commemoration event for the massacre in Sandton, where several organisations and political parties joined those who were affected by the tragedy.

Malema slammed that there had been no action against anyone for the deaths of miners, which he said had been the result of greed from Lonmin and Ramaphosa, against whom the party opened a criminal case in Marikana alongside cabinet members at the time, including then mineral resources minister Susan Shabangu and then police minister Nathi Mthethwa.

Malema said South Africans were partly to be blamed  as they voted for the governing party.

Malema said the EFF would now write to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to demand a “non-prosecuting letter” to enable his party to take on Ramaphosa through a private prosecution.

“We are making this call now and we commit to give a report on progress we have made in the celebration of the 10th anniversary, when we will report whether we are succeeding with private prosecution. It has been nine years since we opened the case,” he said.

Malema said he had never been contacted by any police or prosecutor over the years and warned that if the NPA did not give them the letter “in the next three months we are taking them to the high court so that they either prosecute or they allow us to pursue private prosecution”.

Malema insisted that the ANC-led government had to take full responsibility for the victims of the Marikana tragedy and compensate them.

“We have not killed anyone in Marikana but already we have contributed R1m  into the trust that is aimed at looking after the widows and the children of those who were killed, but those who killed our people have not contributed not even a cent,” he said.

Image (Where it all went horribly wrong. Marikana Massacre).

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