Amcu wants 16 August declared as new Workers' Day

Yesterday the union paid tribute to the 34 men who were gunned down by police four years ago.

Thousands of miners sing and dance as they wait for Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa to address them as they mark four years since the Marikana massacre 16 August 2016. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Association for Mining and Construction Union (Amcu) President Joseph Mathunjwa says the union will continue carrying the torch for the slain Marikana miners and fight for 16 August to be declared as the new Workers' Day public holiday.

Yesterday Mathunjwa, the Economic Freedom Fighters' leadership and hundreds of mine workers paid tribute to the 34 men who were gunned down by police four years ago.

A total of 44 people died, 34 of them at the hands of the police, during a violent unprotected strike where workers demanded a living wage.

Community members cheered when Mathunjwa took to the stage yesterday during a commemoration service for the slain miners.

He says Amcu managed to raise the wage bar in the mining sector and its work isn't over. "The memory of the Marikana massacre is symbolic of the working class struggle. It is our turn to carry this torch forward."

He says 16 August should be declared a public holiday, instead of 1 May, in memory of the workers who fought for a living wage.

Some of the widows of the Marikana miners sobbed quietly during a moment of silence yesterday. Miners later chanted around the Marikana koppie in memory of their fallen colleagues.

WATCH: Amcu remembers slain Marikana miners