by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – SOUTH African opposition parties and labour groups are commemorating the fifth anniversary of the massacre of more than 30 miners northwest of the country.
The killing of the 34 protesting miners by trigger-happy South African Police Service (SAPS) in Marikana, near Rustenburg on 16 August 2012, is among the most tragic days in post-independence South Africa.
On Wednesday, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) and rival National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) were scheduled to honour their fallen colleagues.
It could not be ascertained the two warring unions would jointly commemorate the Marikana massacre.
AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa, general secretary Jeff Mphahlele and national treasurer Jimmy Gama will be among the thousands of guests on Wednesday.
The main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, Mmusi Maimane, will also be among the dignitaries.
Maimane’s spokesperson, Portia Adams, confirmed her principal’s participation.
“Sadly, five years later, those affected by this government-inflicted tragedy – including victims’ families and loved ones – have yet to see justice served,” DA stated.
“Maimane will reflect on measures to hold those accountable for the greatest tragedy in 23 years of democracy, and steps to ensure that the families of the victims of the massacre are compensated.”
The opposition leader is expected to lay a wreath at the site of the massacre in remembrance of those who died while members of the community would join him.
It was not clear at the time of going to press if the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) would be part of the commemoration.
EFF has over the years been aligned with working class and led calls for government to prosecute those involved in the bloodshed.
President Jacob Zuma commissioned an inquiry into the shooting but families are concerned the wheels of justice are turning too slowly.
Marikana victicms remembered
by SAVIOUS KWINIKA