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Politicians call for accountability eight years after the Marikana massacre — 'we must not forget'

17 August 2020 - 11:17 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Crosses mark the koppie at Marikana, North West, where dozens of miners were killed in August 2012.
Crosses mark the koppie at Marikana, North West, where dozens of miners were killed in August 2012.
Image: DANIEL BORN/ File photo

Eight years after the Marikana massacre at Lonmin platinum mine, Rustenburg, politicians have called for accountability.

The incident left 279 miners injured or behind bars and 44 people dead before, during and after the shooting on August 16, 2012.

Retired judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal Ian Farlam was appointed to head a commission of inquiry to investigate the root cause of the tragedy and the manner in which it was handled by police. The commission concluded its investigations in 2018.

Farlam told 702 last year that the government had not acted on all the recommendations made by the commission. He said the commission should not be blamed for a lack of prosecutions.

One SA leader, Mmusi Maimane, says SA has a “political accountability problem”.

He said commissions do not work and that South Africans must not be expected to accept them as justice.

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the ruling party demonstrated its support of the “white-owned mine” rather than workers who demanded a decent living wage.

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Former public protector Thuli Madonsela said the massacre could have been avoided if SA addressed the injustices and other issues from the past. She was speaking on Friday during the virtual address held by Sibanye-Stillwater, the company which took over Lonmin in 2019.

“Marikana happened because we forgot to remember. We forgot to remember our ugly past, our unjust past, and the legacy it had left with us.

We forgot about healing and we focused on renewal. A renewal without a foundation cannot work. It is like trying to rebuild a house that has a structurally defective foundation. At some stage, it is all going to tumble down,” Madonsela said.


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