Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane. Picture: Jerome Delay/AP/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - DA leader Mmusi Maimane has written to President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare August 16 Marikana Memorial Day in honour of the 34 mineworkers killed by police in 2012.

This was announced by the official opposition's North West leader Joe McGluwa during his brief message of support to thousands of Amcu members attending the commemorative event on the site where the police killed striking Lonmin mineworkers.

McGluwa was also critical of Ramaphosa's decision to embark on a State visit to Tanzania on the eve of the seventh anniversary of the massacre.

The EFF and Amcu have also called for August 16 to be declared a public holiday.

The EFF wants a memorial plague to be erected at the site of the massacre.

"Today,   we remember that despite the fact that Lonmin could actually afford to give workers their demand for R12 500, its board member Ramaphosa chose to   characterise mineworkers as criminals upon whom police must take concomitant action, is now a head of state," the party said.

Proceedings got under way at the gathering just around 1pm following performances by several musicians including award-winning vocalist Siphokazi.

Political Bureau