Time to close the chapter on Marikana tragedy – Mahumapelo

By Drum Digital
09 December 2016

The North West government hopes to start a new chapter for the Marikana community ahead of Reconciliation Day

Premier Supra Mahumapelo visited the area on Sunday as part of his reconciliation, healing and renewal programme, he said.

"We are holding dialogues throughout all 18 municipalities on reconciliation, healing and renewal," he told News24.

He said various sectors of society, including churches, traditional leaders and the business sector signed a pledge to bring about healing in the community.

Marikana made headlines in 2012 when police used live ammunition on striking mine workers from the Lonmin platinum mine. Community members to this day feel justice has not been served, with none of the officers involved in the matter being brought to book.

Opposition parties have viewed the August 16 incident as one of the biggest stains on the ANC government since it came into power in 1994.

"We want to close the chapter on Marikana and start a new one," said Mahumapelo.

Gradual joint meetings

The premier said he would arrange separate meetings with rival unions Amcu and NUM, and the police officers who were involved in handling the protected strike.

He said he also wanted to meet with the families of those affected by what has come to be described as a massacre before trying to bring the groups together for dialogue.

"I want to then arrange gradual joint meetings with the unions, then all the other parties," said Mahumapelo.

Marikana is not the only issue on his radar. The premier will soon be visiting Kanana to address problems of gangsterism and drugs.

"It is not just about Marikana, we are bringing this to 685 villages in the province," he said.

The North West government will also focus its attention on the plight of farm workers.

"We need to find people who were farm workers in the province, who died and were buried alongside roads because of apartheid and colonialism. Some were buried on farms without their families knowing, others have disappeared."

He said provincial structures had also been set up to receive progress reports. These will also work alongside police, churches and traditional leaders to bring about healing and reconciliation in affected areas.

Source: News24

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