Marikana victims' families recall the deaths of their loved ones
Rustenburg - Family members the ten people who were killed prior to the August 16, 2012 shootings at Marikana near Rustenburg in the North West on Sunday painted a grisly picture of how they died, lamenting that they had been forgotten.
"People were brutally killed, the security guards, the body parts were removed. They were torched inside the cars," Lizzy Monene, the younger sister of South African Police Service (SAPS) Warrant Officer Hendrik Tsietsi Monene told a National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) rally in Marikana on Sunday afternoon.
"My brother was in full [uniform], coming to protect the people of Marikana, but that never happened, he never come back alive. He was killed in his uniform as if they were killing [a] dog. When I had to identify his body at the government mortuary I could not believe that it was him.
"The two security guards were buried with body parts missing ... That is the real Marikana," she said.
Monene and his SAPS colleague Warrant Officer Sello Ronnie Lepaauku were killed at a railway line in Marikana by striking mineworkers while they were escorting them to the infamous Marikana koppie on August 13, 2012 during the violent wildcat strike at Lonmin's platinum mining operations, now Sibanye-Stillwater. Lonmin security guards Hassan Fundi and Frans Matlhomola Mabelane were burnt to death in their car near the Wonderkop Stadium.
On August 16, 2012, 34 people, mostly mineworkers, were killed when police opened fire on the violent strikers. The two police officers and two Lonmin security guards were among the ten people killed in the preceding week.
On Sunday, Lizzy Monene said the seven years since then had been the most difficult period for the ten families.
"For the past seven years our voices were never heard. We were silenced, as if we are not existing. it seemed our loves ones deserved to die. To the community of Marikana, when you a policeman you must know that behind that uniform there is a person, there is a father, there is a mother, there is family member behind that uniform...
"We do not have any closure, we do not know what is going to happen the next minute. The children of the deceased are asking questions that we do not have any answers [to].
"People have got their monies, they have been compensated, not the ten forgotten families. The security guards that were so brutally killed. My brother was killed, he was shot, hacked, even shot three times - there were bullets wounds," she said.
"We are crying every day, we could not even mourn our loved ones, starting from the Farlam Commission [of inquiry into the shootings] we have been discriminated [against], even if you can go and read that report, it says 34 miners must be paid by the government and that is what the government have done, they have paid.
"I asked myself who killed security guards, who killed my brother in full [uniform], coming to protect, but the people he was protecting killed him. The photos are horrible, that is the real Marikana," she said.
Esther Mabebe, the sister of mineworker Eric Thapelo Mabebe, told the rally that her brother was killed in a brutal manner.
"Was my brother going to work alone underground, was it possible? We thank the white man who pulled him from a burning car. If he was not there we could have not have seen his body.
"We do not know who killed our brother, [but] those who kill by the sword will die by the sword. Those who killed Thapelo Mabebe, they will follow him," she said.
The families said that for seven years people had been stating at rallies that police had killed people in Marikana, referring to 34 people, but had excluding the ten who were killed prior to the actual mass shooting on August 16, 2012.
African News Agency/ANA