IN PICTURES: Hundreds gather to honour the slain
RUSTENBURG – Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa told hundreds of people in Marikana, in the North West, that the struggle for R12,500 was not over.
He was speaking on Saturday, at a gathering to mark the two year anniversary of the deaths of 34 miners on August 16, 2012. At the rally, Mathunjwa said workers would continue fighting for a living wage in honour of those killed.
Political leaders including Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, Democratic Alliance (DA) Parliamentary Leader Mmusi Maimane and Congress of the People (Cope) leader Mosiuoa Lekota were also in attendance.
Said Mathunjwa: “It was this day when the government and the South African Police slammed the door on my face. It was this day when Lonmin also slammed the door on my face. It was this day when no-one was prepared to talk me except the workers.”
He added: “It was on this day when I was pleading with the fellow black brothers on this mountain, to leave the mountain. It was this day when I kneeled before my fellow black brothers who are the mineworkers to try and save their lives.”
Mathunjwa told the crowd that those who were on the Koppie on the tragic day saved his life.
“It was this day when comrade Mambush and other comrades told me ‘…as our leader you better leave this place.’ It was this day when my brothers were requesting me to leave before the police also kill me,” he said.
An emotional group of Marikana widows lit candles in honour of their fallen husbands. They sat crying on stage as speaker after speaker hailed their loved ones as heroes for being at the forefront of the fight for a living wage.
Two years on, questions continue to linger in their minds as to how police intervention led to the deaths of their partners and bread winners.
“The men that worked with my husband, please tell us what happened to our husbands because to this day we don’t know. It’s been two years. We want our husbands. We don’t know why they were killed,” said widow, MaTshepang Ntsele.
Meanwhile, Mathunjwa announced a cash injection of R2-million had been used to start the Marikana Trust Fund.