It could not be confirmed on Friday whether any government officials would be attending the second anniversary of the Marikana shootings at the weekend. Government spokeswoman Phumla Williams said she was not aware of any government minister going to the North West town on Saturday. At a mining lekgotla in Midrand on Wednesday, Minerals and Energy Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi said he would like to take part in the commemorations, if invited.
“We hoped Marikana never happened, but we acknowledge that it was a failure of all stakeholders,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the lekgotla.
“I would be quite happy to be invited to Marikana and join in the commemoration.”
Last year, government was absent from the one-year commemoration.
Organisers of the event could not immediately be reached on Friday to confirm the programme. Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema were expected to address the commemorations. The EFF said that, two years later, justice had still not been served for the fallen miners.
“Those responsible, from the police who obeyed murderous instructions up to the national police commissioner, Riah Phiyega, and the then Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa, still enjoy normal lives and remain in positions of power without any consequence, either in terms of suspensions, termination of employment and criminal charges,” the party said in a statement.
The Congress of SA Trade Unions said the underlying problems in the mining industry remained largely unchanged.
“That is why Cosatu’s 11th Congress declaration called for a second independent commission of inquiry, parallel to the Farlam Commission, to review the underlying conditions in the mining industry as a whole,” the trade union federation said.
The commission, chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam, is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related violence at Lonmin’s platinum mining operations in Marikana in August 2012.
Thirty-four people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with police, over 70 were wounded, and over 250 arrested on August 16, 2012. Saturday would be two years since the shooting. SAPA