The 16th August 2019 marks seven years since the brutal killings of 34 mine workers who were leading industrial action demanding that they be paid a living wage of R12 500 at the time.
Our current president, Cyril Ramaphosa, played a significant role in the brutal and senseless killing spree. He was a non-executive member of London Mines (Lonmin) at the time of the massacre, the evidence proves in the form of an email, that he told his colleagues that “concomitant actions” needed to be implemented.
One could argue that Mr Ramaphosa was using his political connections to put pressure on the government to take action against those who demanded to be paid better wages.
The then-president, Jacob Zuma, commissioned an inquiry which was chaired by a retired judge, Ian Farlam.
The Farlam Commission was a political cover-up, a smokescreen to exonerate powerful figures who were central to the senseless killings of so many people. Among the recommendations made by Judge Farlam was that the livelihoods of the mineworkers be improved by the mining owners. Nevertheless, that has not happened until this very day.
The police officers were somehow made to take the fall on behalf of powerful figures who happen to be politicians and businessmen in the mining industry. The trigger-happy cops were simply taking instructions from their seniors. The police did not simply decide by themselves to open fire on demonstrators.
The only people who were fingered and blamed were the then-national commissioner of the SAPS, Victoria “Riah” Phiyega, who was even ridiculed and reminded that she was merely a social worker who had no capacity to lead the police organisation.
Some police also fell victims, and are still facing an ongoing trial which is seating in Rustenburg. Politicians were exonerated and escaped any form of accountability and responsibility for their misdemeanour.
Nathi Mthethwa and Susan Shabangu are among politicians who played a significant role in the killing spree of the mineworkers. It is shocking that they are still serving in the government today in different departments.
Ramaphosa has not adequately addressed his role in the killing spree of mineworkers which culminated into what we now term Marikana massacre. He continues to be shielded by the media.
The man should be brave enough to even attend annual memorial remembrance hosted by the Amcu and other stakeholders. Amcu should also try to depoliticise the event and include everyone so that we all can get closure because that is what we all want.
Ramaphosa and other politicians are not enemies; the enemy is this capitalist system.
However, our leaders should account for their actions; they should pay for their sins so that our people will know that they have to obey simple rules such as the road signs rather than knowing that they can even bribe the traffic officer.
Mokgatlhe is a political commentator.