Hundreds gather to commemorate Marikana shooting

Miners making their way to the Koppie, where the protesters had gathered in 2012, were singing and dancing.

Groups of miners and union members make their way towards the koppie singing as the 16 August marks three years anniversary of the Marikana shooting. Picture: Emily Corke/EWN.

MARIKANA - Hundreds of mine workers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members have gathered in Marikana to commemorate those who died three years ago.

On the 16 August 2012, 34 miners were shot and killed by police during a violent and unprotected strike.

Ten people, including Lonmin security guards and police, were killed in the days leading up to the shooting.

Amcu, which is now the majority union in the area, has arranged today's proceedings with a stage, loud speakers and music to pay tribute to those who were killed here three years ago.

#Marikana A panoramic view of the Marikana Commemoration Day from the front of the stage. EC

#Marikana Dancers on stage. The crowd cheers them on. EC

Small groups of miners, many wearing their green union t-shirts, were singing and dancing as they made their way to the Koppie.

They are now sitting on the Koppie, where the protesters had gathered in 2012, refusing to disperse just before the police moved in.

#Marikana AMCU members making their way to the stage area. EC

The families of the victims are expected to speak to community later today about their pain and suffering.

This week they filed civil claims against the state for financial compensation.

#Marikana Singers and poets have taken the stage. Part of today's program. EC

At the same time President Jacob Zuma has called for unity and dignity as the country remembers the Marikana massacre in the North West.

Zuma says all lives, including those lost before the shootings, should be commemorated.

The Presidency has called the shootings a "horrendous tragedy that nobody supports".

The president's spokesman Bongani Majola said, "The president said 16 August must be a day of unity.This day, says the president, must unite all of us as South Africans. Nobody supports the horrendous loss of life that occurred in Marikana. We remember all those who lost their lives, including those who were killed before and after 16 August."