'It seems our loved ones deserved to die' says relative of cop killed in lead-up to Marikana massacre

"Our voices were never heard. It seems our loved ones deserved to die." 

These were the words of Lizzy Monene, the sister of one of the police officers who were killed in the days leading up to the Marikana massacre on August 16. 

Monene was speaking at a rally convened by Cosatu and its affiliate, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), at the small mining area in the Marikana West community hall on Sunday.

The federation attended the rally alongside its affiliated unions and representatives of alliance partners in the ANC, SA Communist Party (SACP) and SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco). Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula also attended and spoke on behalf of the governing party. 

READ: Cosatu attempt to bring Ramaphosa to Marikana rally fails

On August 16, 2012, 34 mine workers were killed by the police, 78 were wounded and 250 arrested. Ten people, including two policemen and two Lonmin security guards, were killed the previous week, News24 reported.

A visibly heartbroken Monene, who said she is speaking on behalf of the "10 forgotten families" of the security guards and police officers, said their families have never found peace following the deaths of their loved ones.

Salt rubbed in wounds

"We have never had peace. People were brutally killed. My brother was in his full uniform, coming to protect the residents of Marikana. But that never happened. He was killed in his full uniform as if they were killing a dog." 

She urged to the federation's leadership to step in and assist the families who were still struggling to come to terms with the deaths of their loved ones. 

Monene said the families still sought answers on who killed their family members, adding while the Marikana commission of inquiry, chaired by Judge Ian Farlam, ordered that the families of 34 mine  workers be compensated, nothing had been said for their families. 

She added the families have been discriminated against while their members were protecting the community and died in the process. 

Monene said they have had to pick up the pieces themselves and were left with more questions than answers. 

"We don't have answers, we don't have closure. We have nothing today. The 34 families are being compensated - the salt is being rubbed into the wounds.

"People have been compensated but not the 10 forgotten families. My brother was killed, chopped hacked even shot three times. There were bullet wounds. I am pleading to you leadership. I am asking, can we have closure," said Monene.

ALSO READ: 'Marikana commission can't be blamed for fact that there were no prosecutions' - Judge Farlam

Another family member, Esther Mabebe, said her brother, Thapelo Mabebe, died inside the mine's premises. 

Mabebe said she was suffering from a heart condition since her brother's death.

"He died without an eye, without a leg and parts of his face were severely injured. He died inside the mine, trying to run away," she said.

Mabebe added the family had received no compensation from the government and no child's fees in her family were being paid for by it.

"The Mabebe household has not received a single cent from the government. So the message from the Mabebe household is - they don't know who killed their child, we want the person who killed our child. But we believe that those who killed him, will die in the same way that they killed our child," she said. 

- Compiled by Sesona Ngqakamba

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