Fallen Marikana miners hailed as brave leaders

The 34 miners who were killed in 2012 were remembered at the two year anniversary on Saturday.

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

MARIKANA - Marikana miners have been described as brave leaders who were exploited by capitalists in 2012 and even now.

Thousands of miners, their families and politicians gathered in the North West on Saturday, to mark the two year anniversary of the police shootings two years ago that left 34 workers dead.

In the days leading up to the shooting 10 others were killed, including security guards and police officers.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu)'s President Joseph Mathunjwa says he begged the miners to disperse from the koppie on 16 August 2012, predicting that they would be killed by police.

"Comrades, it was the very same day when our fallen comrades decided to say 'it's enough' from this exploitation of the capitalist."

Mathunjwa says government has failed the families of the victims.

His union handed over R2 million to the Marikana Trust Fund on Saturday.

The African National Congress (ANC) and government were absent during the commemoration rally at the weekend and miners have continued to blame them for the police shooting.

The Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) has also vowed to build houses for the widows of the slain miners.

Mathunjwa says the 16th of August should be declared a public holiday.

He says the workers must be recognised.

"We call upon the government of South Africa to recognise this day as a public holiday for the workers in South Africa."