Eastern Cape mourns for Marikana

2012-08-31 06:56

The congregation of a local church in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape joined the national mourning for last week’s tragic loss of life at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, North West.

The memorial service was organised by Grahamstown’s Unemployed People’s Movement and the Concerned Academics and Students from Rhodes University.

The sermon was presided over by Bishop Ebenezer Ntali and Professor Barney Pityana, rector of the College of Transfiguration, delivered the sermon.

It was a solemn and sombre occasion as people from all walks of life gathered at the Anglican Cathedral in Grahamstown to mourn and pray for all the victims of the August 16 bloodbath in the North West province.

Thirty-four miners were killed in a clash with police and the military at the platinum mines, where salary wage negotiations had stopped operations.

Before that another 10 lives, including those of two police officers and two security guards, were also claimed.

A candle was lit for each of the deceased following a payer that was said for them.

The Eastern Cape recorded the highest number of the dead with 19 hailing from the province.

Funerals for the deceased are set to be held this weekend.

Speaking at the event Professor Barney Pityana said the incident at Marikana represented a pivotal turning point in a South Africa that thought of itself as a shining beacon for the peaceful transition from apartheid.

“Thursday, August 16 shattered the psyche of South Africa and South Africans,” he said, adding the country had become a murderous nation.

Pityana said the incident also signified a lack of trust in our politics and leaders, asserting that as long as the electorate voted for political parties instead of individuals there would be no democracy.

“Clearly our social and economic policies are not working and we cannot wait until 2030. We want change now,” he also said.

Pityana’s theme for his talk, every kingdom divided against itself is laid to waste, was taken from the book of St Luke chapter 11, verse 17 in the book of St Luke in the bible.

Mnikelo Ndabankulu of Durban-based civic organisation Abahlali basemjobdolo, which also visited Marikana following the incident, said miners told them they believed police were out to kill them on that day.

Besides being fired upon with live ammunition, miners who lay on the ground injured were purposefully run over by police Caspirs.

Ndabankulu also disputed claims by police that they were under attack from the miners, saying the miners, caught between walls or barbed wire and armed police and army, were fleeing an attack that had come from behind.

In his closing remarks Ntali questioned whether any true justice could be achieved while the over 200 miners were in prison.

The service ended with a march to the local police station, where Ntali prayed with local police members.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.