Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa says he will visit Marikana with EFF leader Julius Malema, as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela had wished.
Ramaphosa said he will be guided by her spirit as he visits Marikana in North West.
It will be Ramaphosa’s first visit to the area following the Marikana massacre that saw over 40 people being killed by the police.
The miners were striking for a wage increase of R12 500 at Lonmin Platinum Mine and Ramaphosa was blamed for playing a role instructing the police to act with violence towards the miners.
He was a shareholder at Lonmin at the time. He was cleared by the Farlam Commission that found he played no hand in the way the police acted that fateful day.
Civil society and some residents of Marikana have been calling for Ramaphosa to visit the area.
“Mama, you are gone now. We were still supposed to do a lot of things together. I am going to go to Marikana without you, but I will be guided by your spirit. I know that Julius will come with me so that we can heal the wounds of those in Marikana,” he said, to loud cheering from the thousands of mourners in attendance.
Ramaphosa was speaking at Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
He said he will propose that the ANC National Executive Committee award her with the highest honour of the movement.
“I will be proposing to the National Executive Committee that the ANC award you the highest honour of our movement, Isithwalandwe. You deserve to be awarded the Speararankoe,” he said.
Ramaphosa also spoke about the need to remember Madikizela-Mandela as a freedom fighter who suffered dearly at the hands of the Apartheid State. He said her wounds were not completely healed.
“Her healing of the deep wounds that were inflicted on her was incomplete.
“We must continue to touch Ma Winnie’s wounds and acknowledge her pain and pass on the story of her suffering so that it may always be known that Ma Winnie was a giant, a pathfinder and a healer. She has died but is not gone. She guides our nation,” said Ramaphosa.