Ramaphosa again says he will visit Marikana
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President Cyril Ramaphosa says he is willing to go to Marikana to meet with the families of the mineworkers who were killed there almost a decade ago.
Ramaphosa said while the issue of compensation for the victims of Marikana had not been concluded, the government had already paid more than R174 million to the victims and families.
Speaking in the national assembly, the President said he was committed to visiting the area as he had always promised.
During the funeral of the late struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in Soweto in 2018, Ramaphosa had also said he would go to Marikana as promised.
The President maintained that he stood by his promise but it was not easy as the issue was complex, and involved a number of roleplayers.
“It has always been my intention to go and speak to the widows of deceased workers. To this end yes because this is a complex matter which has various complex aspects to it. We have been in consultation with a variety of parties. Initially, there were unions themselves, AMCU and NUM. At times the two don’t see eye to eye, they differ on approaches. At times I find that one is caught up between the two because they are the two key role players,” said Ramaphosa.
He said he had been counselled by a number of stakeholders on the issue including faith leaders.
“All I want to say is that it will happen,” said Ramaphosa, adding: “Yes, it’s important that we should deal with this matter and bring closure to it and also ensure we work beyond also to deal with the Farlam Commission,” he said.
He said he was not happy that it’s taken a long time to settle compensation issues with the victims.
Ramaphosa who was a non-executive director of Lonmin when 34 striking miners from the union AMCU were killed by police, has been fingered by some for urging the police to act against the strikers during the protest in 2012.
In the run-up to the massacre, 10 miners from the rival National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) were also killed.