Marikana: Rally to mark anniversary of shootings

Thirty four miners were killed and 78 others wounded during a stand-off with police on 16 August 2012.

FILE: Crosses on the koppie in Marikana, where 34 miners were killed in a standoff with police on 16 August 2012. Picture: Christa Eybers /EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Today marks exactly two years since the 10th body was found in Marikana, leading the violence to escalate to a level where police from several provinces were deployed to the North West platinum mine.

The Marikana community is preparing for a commemoration rally on Saturday to mark the two year anniversary of the Marikana shootings on 16 August 2012, when 34 miners were gunned down and 78 others wounded during a stand-off with police at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine.

Ten people were also killed in the days leading to the shooting including a mineworker, strikers, two Lonmin security guards and two policemen.

There are two white crosses on the koppie, where the miners had gathered for several weeks during one of the most violent labour-related strikes in 2012.

On Saturday, the community will gather here again to pay tribute to the slain miners.

Residents say the incident has scarred them and their situation hasn't changed.

"Nothing has changed. They said they would build us RDP houses but they didn't and we have no electricity."

Families of the victims meanwhile, say they're still waiting for answers two years on, from the Farlam commission of inquiry about whether the police were justified in using maximum force.

They blame Lonmin and the police for the shooting.

This week, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa spent two days this week on the stand, answering questions about his involvement in the days leading up to the shooting.

He was a non-executive director at Lonmin Platinum at the time.

Families of the victims also shared their personal stories of heartache and sorrow for the first time.

President Jacob Zuma appointed the inquiry to investigate whether police were justified in using lethal force.