Marikana tragedy happened under our watch and we stand with every victim, says ANC
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Pretoria – The African National Congress (ANC) on Monday said the Marikana tragedy will always remain a dark spot on South Africa’s democratic society and a constant reminder of the distance that must be travelled to build a truly economically inclusive, equal and just society.
“The ANC acknowledges that South Africans can never go back and undo the tragic events of that fateful day. However, we have a responsibility to draw valuable lessons from them,” said ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe.
“The ANC stands with every widow, mother, father, son and daughter, brother and sister who lost a loved one during that entire period. We shall endeavour never to forget their memories. As the governing party, we acknowledge that the fateful events of Marikana occurred on our watch.”
On August 16 2012, 34 people, mostly striking miners, were shot dead and 78 people were wounded when the police fired on a group gathered at a hill near Lonmin's platinum mining operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg in North West, while trying to disperse and disarm them.
In the preceding week, 10 people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed in strike-related violence.
Mabe said South Africans can take comfort from the fact that since the tragic events of that period, industrial relations in the mining sector continue to improve.
“We are heartened to note that stakeholders - workers, employers and the state - have taken to heart the harsh lessons learnt from Marikana. As South Africans, we must make a solemn pledge never to allow the eruption of another Marikana,” said Mabe.
“We reiterate our call to government to move with speed in implementing programmes that will help alleviate the plight of affected families and to ensure that conditions that led to this tragedy are addressed.”
Monday marked the ninth anniversary since the August 2012 massacre, and calls have been growing for the day to be declared a public holiday.
African News Agency (ANA)