Performances from Zamtefela cultural Group. Picture: Mathaeo Lonkokile/ANA

Marikana - The Marikana commemoration at Wonderkop near Rustenburg started on Thursday morning with performances from local artists.

The performances ranged from cultural and choral acts to hip-hop. 

Local group Zayamtefela Cultural Group performed their song called ‘’lalani kahle maqawe akuthi’’ which is Xhosa for ‘rest in peace our
heroes’. 

Group members Vuyiswa Mnqinya, Simphiwe Bongo and Soyisile Madwantsi said performing for their "heroes means everything".

‘’We chose this song because it reminds us of what happened here years ago. This is us and our community saying to them they must rest well
but and we have not forgotten them. What they did for those coming after at the mines will forever be remembered. They will forever
remain our heroes,’’ said Vuyisile.

Local part-time artist and performer Makoena Matli performed his song ‘’osa e tshwara’’ which is Sotho for ‘’do not touch’’. 

Afterwards, Matli said his song was meant to bring comfort to those who lost their loved ones. 

Matli is who is employed at Lonmin mine Makoena said "today’s event" is something that cannot be ignored.

‘’Today we are here to celebrate and remember our brothers and uncles. I agreed to come here because they are our heroes. What they did was
not for them, but for all of us. They showed unity by standing together. Today people take us serious as miners because of them,’’ said
Makoena.

More than 500 hundred people have arrived at the Marikana celebrations. 

The koppie, which is regarded by the locals as a holy place, was filled with people sitting and dancing. 

A huge tent erected nearby was still empty apparently reserved for political leaders and family members of the 34 mine workers who were shot dead by the police during a wildcat strike six years ago.

African News Agency (ANA)