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Marikana families call for monument for fallen miners

Lonmin and the government were absent from the Marikana commemoration rally.

Widows holding onto red candles to symbolise the blood that was spilt. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

MARIKANA - Families of the Marikana victims have called for a monument to be erected at the site where 34 miners were shot dead by police.

A total of 34 miners were killed by police on 16 August 2012 during a violent wage related protest which made international headlines.

In the days leading up to the shooting, 10 people were killed including two security guards and two policemen.

Yesterday, marked two years since the tragedy and thousands of people from the community as well as politicians gathered in the area for a commemoration rally.

The shooting has been described as the most violent police operation in post-apartheid South Africa.

There was a clear absence from Lonmin and the government at the commemoration rally to pay tribute to those who lost their lives.

Bishop Jo Seoka who has been supporting the miners says this is worrying.

"It's sad that the company hasn't supported this commemoration, what does it tell us when the government isn't here."

Meanwhile, a man who lost his son at the hands of police says the miners need to be remembered.

"Last year the CEO of Lonmin said he'd erect a stone of remembrance with the names of all those who were killed but there is no such."

The widows of the deceased sat on stage holding red candles which symbolized the blood that was spilt, many wept as their husbands names were called out in front of the community and the workers who they had tried to secure a better life for.

Video: Marikana widows vow to never forget.

MINERS SET AN EXAMPLE IN LABOUR FORCE

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema says the Marikana miners have set a precedent for the labour force in this country despite government continuing to fail them.

Malema says his party, which was launched in Marikana, will continue supporting the miners and their fight for a decent wage.

"We will march next to you, we will die next to you and be buried next to you."

He says government has failed them, and the families of the victims, so the EFF has vowed to build houses for the widows.

"We want to teach the ruling party how to take care of the poor

The widows sat on a stage erected below the Koppie, where their husbands were killed two years ago.

All pictures by EWN.

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