22 February 2018

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) welcomes the commitment to healing after the Marikana Massacre, as posited by President Ramaphosa in the question-response session following the State of the Nation Address (SONA). We await corresponding action to these commitments, which should be underscored by holding all culpable to account for these killings.

We wish to record our willingness to meet and work with the President in penning the way forward. Like with most of the promises made in the SONA, we remain guardedly optimistic about this commitment considering similar statements made by the previous administration in 2015. In the absence of expeditious action, this will be viewed as mere political expediency.

We note that it has taken five years since this atrocity before this pledge to assist families to heal could be rendered. Throughout this period, families have sought for answers to no avail despite recent media reports unravelled sordid revelations of how workers were murdered in cold blood.

We have on numerous occasions previously referred to the Farlam Commission as a “Commission of Omission.” Our views and analysis have been vindicated by emerging evidence of blatant assassinations that were covered up by the police. The Independent Police Investigation Directorate (IPID) has been implicated for negligently failing to collect evidence, record witness statements or conducting ballistic testing.

We are therefore concerned that the State President seems to heavily rely on the Farlam Commission’s findings, despite the emergence of new evidence that is inconsistent with this report. As such, we will be instituting measures to review the findings of the Farlam Commission.

We appreciate the statement by the President, but however expect the new Commander in Chief, to take urgent steps and ensure that the damning revelations in the City Press publication are investigated for healing to commence.

Our view, consistent with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of the 1990s, is that there can never be any healing if the complete truth is not brought to light. Healing can never be a material condition induced through compensation, but rather an emotional process underscored by acceptance, understanding and forgiveness between stakeholders undergirded by truth and justice.

We welcome the commitment expressed by the President in the SONA debate and plead that we, together, commence with immediate action so that justice can be seen to be done. In collaboration with the legal representatives of the Marikana widows and families, we are willing to engage with President Ramaphosa to find closure to this raw wound.