Ramaphosa’s visit to Marikana not on the cards yet

President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: Esa Alexander

President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised to go to Marikana to visit the widows of the mineworkers who were killed in the Lonmin Platinum mine wage-related unrest of August 2012 but his office says this will not be happening as yet.

“I am not aware of any plans at this stage for the President to visit Marikana‚” his spokesperson Khusela Diko told this  in a text message.

“He has said on record that he will visit Marikana once all consultations and consequential matters attended to with the bereaved families‚ the injured miners and all stakeholders. This is work still in progress‚” she said.

Diko was responding to this publication's questions on whether Ramphosa would be heading to Marikana ahead of the six-year anniversary of the incident that left 44 people‚ including security guards‚ police officers and mineworkers‚ dead. The majority of victims were mineworkers who were shot dead by the police on August 16 2016.

About 250 people were arrested following the massacre‚ while 70 workers were injured.

In April‚ at the funeral of struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela‚ Ramaphosa had said he would make good on Madikizela-Mandela’s wish for him to visit Marikana.

“At your 80th birthday‚ you said you would take me and Julius Malema to Marikana to meet the widows of the departed miners. We could not go because you were not well. You are gone now. I am left to go alone‚ but I will be guided by your spirit . . . I know Julius Malema will go with me so that we can go and heal the wounds of the Marikana widows‚” he said.

Meanwhile‚ bereaved families of the Marikana miners say there are a lot of promises that government is yet to fulfil.

“Most of the recommendations that came out of the Farlam Commission have still to be acted upon‚” a joint statement from the Marikana Support Campaign‚ the Right2Know Campaign and the Socio Economic Rights Institute said.

“The Independent Police Investigative Directorate recommended almost two years ago that 71 police officers be charged. To date only a few police are facing charges relating to the incident that began on the railway tracks on August 13‚ 2012.”

The families filed claims in August 2015 against the minister of police for compensation and a formal apology for the loss of their loved ones.

Not all of the widows had received compensation for their losses‚ the group said.

The police ministry could not be immediately reached for comment.

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