WATCH | Hundreds gather at Marikana koppie to commemorate 10 years since massacre

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People gather during an event to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the Marikana massacre in 2018.
People gather during an event to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the Marikana massacre in 2018.
Tebogo Letsie/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images

  • Tuesday marks 10 years since 34 Lonmin miners were killed when police opened fire on them in what has become known as the Marikana massacre.
  • Ten people died in the days leading up to the massacre.
  • Hundreds of people gathered at the Marikana koppie where the miners were killed and 78 people were injured.

Hundreds of people arrived at the infamous Marikana koppie in the North West on Tuesday to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Marikana massacre.

Community members and miners danced and sang while holding sticks. Some wore Association of Miners and Construction Union (AMCU) T-shirts and overalls and others had blankets.

Families of the miners who died also attended the event, along with survivors, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa, One South Africa Movement leader Mmusi Maimane and advocate Dali Mpofu, SC, among others.

People sat on camping chairs and had cooler boxes of alcoholic drinks with them. Children ran around, including some in pyjamas.

Mike Khoza, who was seated on a camping chair while enjoying the entertainment on the stage, told News24: "On this day, 16 August, 10 years ago, I was here protesting as well. I witnessed police officers opening fire and we ran in different directions, not knowing where to go."

READ | Marikana a decade later: It wasn't an accident, says SERI

"We asked for money but instead, there was bloodshed. Today we are here because we don't have a choice," Khoza said.

"Today we remember our brothers who died tragically. They died asking for money and they never got it. Even though we received some salary adjustments, it is still not enough and our brothers are not with us anymore. This is the pain we are facing."

The AMCU's Phuthuma Manyathi said "we have kept this event for the past 10 years because we know what these comrades died for".

Manyathi added:

There is also no community upliftment. As you can see...there is no development of the area, no justice and no one has been arrested [for the killing of 34 miners]; it's [a] betrayal because nobody cares on the side of government. There has never been any changes of any sort. So we actually feel like we are betrayed by those we put in power.

"We are such a [mineral] rich country but we are not benefiting [from] anything."

In a statement on Tuesday, the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) and Amnesty International South Africa said the government had "failed to deliver more than 2 000 promised houses in Marikana, while Sibanye-Stillwater evaded accountability and points fingers at Lonmin".

Sibanye-Stillwater bought Lonmin in 2009.

"Ten years on, and the situation has not changed in Marikana. A new company might be in charge, but the dire consequences of mining remain. Marikana is a testament to mining impacts in South Africa," the CALS' head of environmental justice, Dr Louis Snyman, said.

"Profits over people will continue until the system is overhauled to put mining communities first," Snyman added.

On 16 August 2012, the 34 miners were killed when police opened fire on protesters.

Ten people, including two Lonmin security guards and police officers died in the days leading up to the massacre.

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