Hundreds attend Marikana commemoration

A total of 44 people were killed during the violent protest, 34 of them by police, in an operation that has been highly criticised.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Hundreds of miners, community members and religious leaders have gathered at the koppie in Marikana to commemorate the 34 protesters who were shot and killed by police exactly five years ago.

Lonmin Mine workers embarked on an unprotected strike in 2012, demanding a minimum wage of R12,500.

A total of 44 people were killed during the violent protest, 34 of them by police, in an operation that has been highly criticised.

Thousands of community members have gathered where a stage has been erected at the foot of the infamous koppie.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: 34 Miners killed by police in Marikana

Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) president Joseph Mathunjwa and others will pay tribute to those who lost their lives.

AMCU was a start-up union in 2012 and now is the majority union in the mining district.

It’s been five years since the massacre and for many of the surviving miners and families of the victims, not much has changed.

The community lives in squalor, the families say they are still waiting for compensation and no one has been charged with the murders.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)