The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) staged the 8th Marikana Massacre Commemoration at The Gracepoint Methodist Church in Midrand on Sunday, 16 August 2020 under the theme Their Blood Still Cries Out from the Ground.
Following the Marikana Commemoration Lecturer held on Friday 14 August, the 8th Commemoration included speakers such as UDM leader General Bantu Holomisa, former DA leader Mmusi Maimane and advocate Dali Mpofu all of whom called for justice on behalf of the victims of Marikana and their families.
Tebogo Mosikili from the AMCU Marikana Trust declared once again that the purpose of the Trust was to assist the families of all the deceased including all the AMCU members, security and SAPS personnel and members from other unions with building them houses.
“We want to emphasize to all the families that we decided to build houses of a high quality for all of you. Houses that reflect dignity,” said Mosikili.
He ended his address with a commitment stating that the Trust will complete building all the houses for all 44 families by the end of the year.
“Unfortunately, we would have loved to have finished this project but due to Covid-19 under lockdown levels 4 and 5, we had to halt construction as per the lockdown restrictions. But I want to assure all the families that we will have all the house built at the very latest by the end of the year.”
Advocate Dali Mpofu confirmed the cases that were still pending which included the case of the deceased, the case of the survivors (injured and arrested), the case of the widows, the personal case against President Cyril Ramaphosa, and the case against Lonmin.
“Of all these cases, the only one which has been settled is that of those who were arrested for a week and then released. However, the victims who have been maimed and murdered have not been compensated,” said Mpofu.
“There is also a case against Cyril Ramaphosa in his capacity. His legal team has taken legal technicalities against engaging with the families of the victims and to apologize. We have heard from the widows, who oftentimes have stated that the apology is more important than the compensation as this is what brings closure,” added Mpofu.
The commemoration culminated in a keynote address by AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa who declared that the Marikana Massacre should be called the Sibanye Massacre as Marikana only refers to the place where it happens and not the responsible party.
“Although no longer Lonmin, the takeover by Sibanye was to save the face of Capital, and to cleanse their reputation. As they say in their parallel engagements, they want to “dismantle the legacy.”
“How can they do this? How can they sweep their evil deeds under the carpet? We will not allow it. Never! Sibanye still operates with the same,” articulated President Mathunjwa.
“What happened on 16 August 2012 was carefully planned and orchestrated by the unholy alliance of State and Capital to protect their interests. This transformed a democratically elected government to a fascist state. From the first commemoration, in our messages and addresses, we told them, that it is time to transform our economy. Look at where we are now!”
The President also touched on the ailing economy, the South African labour market, transformation of our electoral system and addressed Gender-Based violence.
“Day-in and day-out women are killed, and the girlchild is maimed, raped and killed. There is no stop to this. The women are on their own,” he lamented.
“They have been crying for help, but the only thing they get is promises, summits, commissions, protest marches, eloquent speeches, and talk shops.”
“If the government is really serious, what is it that stops them from bringing back the death penalty. Why? Currently, criminals know they will face no real hardship. They serve maybe 25 years, then they get a presidential pardon, and then they are out.”
“If we have the death penalty for classified and prioritised crimes, they will know what will happen to them. If this government really cared about the contribution of women who bear the tears and scars of Apartheid, to bring this country into the new dispensation, what stops the State from amending the Constitution and its regulatory framework? He concluded.