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‘Marikana families must be compensated’

Opposition parties say the ANC has failed to find a plausible explanation after families were shattered.

FILE: Some of the relatives of miners killed during the Marikana police shooting in 2012. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Opposition parties have called for immediate compensation for the families of the Marikana miners who were killed almost three years ago.

Members of Parliament (MPs) earlier debated the report on the Marikana massacre in which 34 miners were gunned down by police.

Families launched legal action this week for compensation.

The United Democratic Movement's (UDM) Mncedisi Filtane says families have been shattered by what happened.

"Many children who were supposed to be celebrating with their mothers this month can only be reminded of the brutality that robbed them of their fathers. These children can no longer enjoy life of a full family, with a mother and a father, due to the most ever experienced police brutality in post-apartheid South Africa."

The Congress of the People's (Cope) Willie Madisha says he is disappointed in his former colleagues.

"I can actually point out at some of the men and women with whom I sat in the executive, and I'm extremely disappointed."

The Democratic Alliance's (DA) Dianne Kohler Barnard says the African National Congress (ANC) has failed to find a plausible explanation.

"You're [trying to] justify the unjustifiable… Shame on you."

The ANC's Godfrey Oliphant defended the government, saying action had been taken.

"We therefore must actually commend His Excellency, President Jacob Zuma, for his swift leadership in this matter and also for appointing the Farlam Commission."

Earlier, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema told the house action needed to be taken.

"Marikana was a murder that was facilitated in clear day light and under political supervision and influence of politicians, many of whom continue to enjoy privileges of this house."

FAMILIES FILE A CIVIL SUIT AGAIN POLICE MINISTER

On Wednesday, with just a few days to the third anniversary of the Marikana shooting, the families of 37 mineworkers who died filed a civil claim against Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko.

The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa said the claim had been filed on behalf of 326 dependents of the workers that mostly live in the Eastern Cape and rural Swaziland.

The institute said even though Zuma did not recommend any sanctions against the executive when he released the Marikana report they believed there were still grounds for a civil suit.

Senior attorney Kathleen Hardy said they hope the minister will consider settling out of court once he sees their court papers.

"We hope it won't be a long process but we are also aware as to filing civil claims and how long these processes can take. We do really hope that the minister of police, once he sees our papers, seriously considers contacting the families and talks about compensation."

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