16 August 2017

South Africa Remembers Marikana Miners Killed By Police

Photo: SAPA stringer
Police on the scene at Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana in the North West where 34 miners were killed in August 2012.

A memorial service has been held in South Africa on Wednesday to remember the victims of the Marikana massacre five years ago, in which 34 miners who were on strike were shot and killed by police.

No one has been charged with any offence related to the August 16, 2012 massacre, considered South Africa's worst case of police violence since the end of apartheid in 1994.

An inquiry had found that the mine owners, at least 72 police officers and unions were responsible for the deadly incident.

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Now miners are mourning their colleagues' deaths, and they continue to denounce the lack of justice and the absence of compensation to families as promised by the government.

The protesters who were shot at Marikana were employed to work for relatively meagre pay in potentially dangerous and stiflingly hot conditions for the well-resourced - and politically well-connected - British mining company, Lonmin.

They were being paid roughly $400 a month while Lonmin announced annual profits of $273m for its shareholders in 2011, the year before the massacre.

Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa, reporting from Marikana on Wednesday, said miners and their families want the government to stop making "more empty promises".

"These miners are hoping that after five years, something will change," our correspondent said. "They want financial compensation. Some say they still need counselling. The wives, the widows of those who were killed are still struggling."

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