Hundreds of mineworkers and supporters began gathering in Marikana on Tuesday‚ ahead of the fourth commemoration of those who died when a labour protest turned violent.
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has erected a stage below a koppie near Lonmin’s Marikana mine‚ where 34 people died when police opened fire on them in Marikana on August 16‚ 2012.
Ten others‚ including police officers‚ died during a labour dispute over a R12 500 minimum wage‚ precipitating events that led to soul-searching over SA’s labour laws‚ inequality and the conduct of the police.
Small groups of mineworkers sang as people continued to gather at the site‚ with Amcu arranging music and entertainment ahead of commemorative addresses and messages of support later on Thursday.
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema and Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa are expected to address the crowd.
The messages are expected to focus on the impact of the event on the lives of mineworkers and their families after they occupied the koppie during the dispute‚ as well as outstanding questions and lack of closure. Criminal and civil proceedings are still pending.
An inquiry chaired by Judge Neels Claassen is investigating suspended national police commissioner Riah Phiyega’s fitness to hold office and is expected to deliver its findings in August.
Phiyega has approached the North Gauteng High Court to challenge the findings of the Farlam commission of inquiry‚ which had suggested the probe into her.
– TMG Digital/BDlive