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Johannesburg - The boycotting of the Marikana shooting commemoration by the ANC and the NUM was deeply worrisome, the Azanian People's Organisation (Azapo) said on Friday.
“In our view as Azapo, participation by NUM and ANC would go a long way in trying to bridge the gap between NUM and Amcu mineworkers - perhaps ease the tension in and around the mine,” spokesman Funani KaNtontela said in a statement.
“Attending the commemoration would allow them an opportunity to apologise to families who would be present.”
KaNtontela said some of the men killed last year were members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). He called the union's decision heartless.
On Thursday, the African National Congress said it would not take part in the event.
“The commemoration is organised by an illegitimate team called 'Marikana Support Group' - a group which the African National Congress does not recognise,” spokesman Kenny Morolong said in a statement.
The NUM voiced similar concerns.
The Federation of Unions of SA said it was concerned that the inquiry into the event was still not concluded.
“We bemoan the fact that these families have not seen justice being done to the persons responsible for the death of their beloved fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons.
“The commission of inquiry must finalise its work so that the wounds can heal and we can move on,” general secretary Dennis George said in a statement.
George said Marikana was a lesson in how collective bargaining could go wrong. He said workers, employers, and government should work together to make collective bargaining a constructive form of social dialogue.
“This is the only fair and sustainable solution. History has taught us that any other approach will lead to chaos and unnecessary suffering by all involved,” George said.
On August 10 last year, rock drillers at platinum miner Lonmin embarked on an unprotected strike for a monthly salary of R12,500. More workers joined the strike and the protesters gathered at a hill near the Nkaneng informal settlement, some carrying weapons such as pangas, spears, knobkerries, and iron rods.
On August 16 police trying to disperse and disarm them opened fire and 34 people were killed. Ten people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed in strike-related violence the preceding week.
President Jacob Zuma established the commission to probe the deaths.
Commemorations are planned for Friday at the site of the shooting. - Sapa