South African miners mark 10th anniversary of killings

·2 min read

MARIKANA, South Africa (AP) — A somber gathering of more than 1,000 marked the 10th anniversary of what has become known as the Marikana massacre, when police opened fire on striking miners, killing 34 in 2012.

“10 Years of Betrayal,” said T-shirts worn by many at the commemoration, expressing bitterness that there has not been justice for those killed and that promises of better pay and conditions for the miners have not been fulfilled.

Clustered on a small hilltop near where the shootings took place, the miners sang mournful songs and chants. Many at the event wore green and black, the colors of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union that led the strike.

A small contingent of police monitored the gathering.

“Ten years later, there has not been justice. We all saw the miners being killed in broad daylight but nobody has been arrested for it,” the regional secretary of the mineworkers' union Phuthuma Manyathi told South Africa's eNCA broadcaster before the gathering. Manyathi said the anniversary event is to honor those who were killed.

The Marikana killings were preceded by days of violence in which 10 other people were killed, including police and security guards.

Videos of police opening fire on the miners shocked South Africa and were broadcast across the world, sparking outrage and leading to a commission of inquiry to investigate the police actions. Although the official investigation found police responsible for the killings, no one has been charged with the deaths.

The government has paid more than 170 million rands (more than $10 million) in compensation to 280 claimants, mainly the families of the slain mineworkers and those injured that day or who were wrongfully arrested, it said in a statement earlier this month.

There are still 24 claims to be addressed by the end of August, according to the government.