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South Africans gather to mark 10th anniversary of Marikana massacre

#South #Africans #gather #mark #10th #anniversary #Marikana #massacre

Thousands of people gathered in the South African city of Marikana on Tuesday to celebrate a decade since dozens of striking workers were killed in the worst police violence since the end of apartheid.

On August 16, 2012, 34 people were killed and 78 injured when police opened fire on platinum miners who had gathered on a hill near the mine to make demands for better wages and housing.

Ten years later, survivors and victims’ families are still demanding justice.

On Tuesday, some danced and sang while waving sticks on the same rocky hill that served as the backdrop for the massacre, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, according to AFP reporters at the scene.

Many miners wearing miners’ union T-shirts were present, along with opposition representatives.

“We are still waiting to know the person who sent the police to kill our husbands,” a representative of the widows of those killed, who did not give her name, said from a stage, while the words “No justice , no arrest” appeared on a banner behind her.

An official inquiry blamed much of the deaths on police tactics and found that an operation to remove the miners should not have been carried out.

It absolved high-ranking government officials of any guilt.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who at the time was a non-executive director at Lonmin, which operated the mine, was also exonerated.

No one has been charged with the massacre.

“We want justice. Now, not tomorrow,” Joseph Mathunjwa, the chairman of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), said at the rally.

-‘A turning point’ –

Some used the day as a family outing. A father stood behind his car with the trunk open and sipped a beer from a glass while his daughter sipped juice while her mother sat in a camp chair.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate, a police station, said the incident is still under investigation.

“You must apologize,” said Dali Mpofu, a lawyer representing the victims, calling for a memorial to be created for those who lost their lives.

Authorities said they are still finalizing dozens of claims for compensation, having already paid nearly 76 million rand ($4.6 million) to victims’ families.

“We have to be strong men, in the end the truth will come out even if we are no longer there who was responsible for the bloodshed in Marikana,” said Mzoxolo Magidiwana, a survivor of the massacre who escaped with nine gunshot wounds.

No government officials attended the event.

In a statement, Presidential Minister Mondli Gungubele said: “The Marikana tragedy was a turning point in the history of democratic South Africa and one that must never be repeated.”

Wages in the mining sector have increased 86.5 percent since 2012, the Minerals Council South Africa, an industry group, said in a statement.

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#South #Africans #gather #mark #10th #anniversary #Marikana #massacre

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