Marikana massacre remains a dark day in South Africa’s history

Issued by Solly Malatsi MP – DA National Spokesperson
16 Aug 2023 in News
  • Today marks eleven years since the somber Marikana massacre. 
  •  Justice for the families and relatives of the deceased has been slow and elusive.
  • The ANC government must explain progress made in implementing the Commission’s recommendations, on compensation for the families of victims and why no one has been held accountable. 

Note to editors: Please find attached a soundbite by Solly Malatsi MP

Today marks another somber anniversary when 44 people, 34 of whom were miners, had their lives taken away in one of the most brutal display of state violence since the dawn of democracy.

Instead of living up to its constitutional obligation to preserve and protect the right to life, in August 2012 the ANC government took a decision to tear the Bill of Rights and deny the Marikana miners their guaranteed rights under Chapter 2(11) of the Constitution, which explicitly states that ‘Everyone has the Right to Life’.

The Marikana massacre will forever remain an indelible stain on conscience of the ANC government. It was a day when the police service took their guns and turned them towards civilians, in a cowardly show of force that had nothing to do with the maintenance of law and order. The events of that day were a horrific reminder that has lost its way as law enforcement agency and unless urgent steps are taken to reform it, the chances of having another Marikana remain high.

Eleven years after that day of infamy, justice for the families and relatives of the deceased has been slow and elusive. No one has been held accountable for the decisions that were taken on that day nor has anyone been held liable for the subsequent loss of life that happened. This is despite the fact that the state spent tens of millions of rand on the Farlam Commission’s inquiry into the massacre.

If the ANC government cares for the victims’ families, they should publicly explain the progress that they have made in implementing the Commission’s recommendations and why no one has been held accountable to date for the massacre. Anything less will be unacceptable and an affront to the victim’s families who are yet to recover from this terrible tragedy.

Most importantly, the ANC government must provide an urgent update on the progress made to compensate the victims’ families. Breadwinners were killed in August 2012 and clarity is needed on the steps that have been taken to support and compensate the families of the victims.

This blight on our constitutional democracy must never be forgotten. The brutal killings at Marikana were akin to the violence that the apartheid government unleashed on those who were fighting for freedom.

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