The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) will be hosting a memorial lecture and commemorative event this coming week to pay homage to the 44 workers who perished during the Lonmin platinum strike of August 2012.  The Union also pays homage to women during Women’s Month, highlighting their role in the struggle for political and economic emancipation.

Every year since the Marikana Massacre, AMCU has commemorated, together with various dignitaries, guests, leaders, and members of the communities, the lives lost by the comrades who were massacred by the State.  This year just like in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, AMCU will host the two main events during this week of commemoration with small physical gatherings coupled with remote participation via online methods.

The first event will be the customary Memorial Lecture which will take place tomorrow, 11 August 2021, and the main event will be the commemoration on 16 August 2021.  In line with the Disaster Management Act (DMA) regulations, both these events will consist of physical gatherings at 50% (fifty percent), with all the necessary precautions of hygiene, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and social distancing being observed.

Tomorrow’s Memorial Lecture will take place at the Capital Hotel in Sandton, and the keynote address will be given by Xolani Dube of the Xubera Institute.  Advocate Dali Mpofu SC will be the guest speaker and AMCU also invited the CEO of Sibanye-Stillwater, Neal Froneman, to give a message of support.

Members of the media are invited to attend the Memorial Lecture, either physically or via YouTube on the following link:  Guests will start arriving at around 9:00 and the programme should be done by lunchtime.

“The Memorial Lecture has become an important item on our annual calendar”, said AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa.  “We look forward to prominent voices in our country reflecting on the events of 16 August 2012 and the challenges that remain after nine years.  Most of the victims of the Massacre have not yet experienced closure and healing.  Their blood still cries from the ground”, he added.

The Ninth Commemoration of the Marikana Massacre event itself will take place on 16 August 2021 at a venue to be confirmed.  This is the main event on AMCU’s annual calendar, and AMCU typically converged at the kopje in Marikana outside of Rustenburg.  This year, like in 2020, this event will be part-physical and part-virtual.  Further details regarding the physical venue and virtual link will be released closer to the time.

“As August is Women’s Month, we also use these events to also pay homage to the significant role played by women in our struggle for dignity for the majority of South Africans”, Mathunjwa said.  “What happened during the month of August in 2012, and specifically on 16 August 2012, is also an indictment for how women suffer due to the cruelty of a fascist state.  Their wounds will remain raw due to losing their loved ones during that time, for protesting against their poor living and working conditions.  During the month of August, and through our Commemoration events, AMCU salutes the women of South Africa for their role in the political and economic struggles we face”, Mathunjwa concluded.

For interviews:  President Joseph Mathunjwa