Ten Years On, S.Africa Awaits Justice For Slain Striking Miners
Sumaira FH Published August 12, 2022 | 11:30 AM
Marikana, South Africa, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 12th Aug, 2022 ) :A decade after her 30-year-old brother was killed when South African police opened fire on miners striking for better wages, Nolufefe Noki is still no closer to obtaining justice.
But Noki's sister says she is still waiting for answers as to what exactly occurred that day.
"We don't know what happened," the 42-year-old said, speaking inside the family home in Mqanduli, a village in the south of the country.
The violence evoked memories of apartheid-era police killings.
An official inquiry blamed the deaths and injuries on police "tactics", recommending that those responsible be investigated and prosecuted.
The country's solicitor general, Fhedzisani Pandelani, said only around half of all claims made for compensation have been paid out.
"It's regrettable that we sit here and discuss things that happened 10 years ago," he said.
For survivors and the families of victims, the memories are still agonisingly fresh.
When Noki's remains were returned home, 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) away in the south of the country, his sister says she was unable to properly say goodbye.
"I was told I couldn't see him, because he was too badly hurt," she said in Mqanduli, where green hills stretch as far as the eye can see.
Noki was buried on a nearby hill, where his grave is now overgrown with grass.
He secured a pay increase, and today lives in a single room provided by his employer in a township near the hill where the miners were shot.
"The government doesn't care about us," Magidiwana said.
"It's 10 years now, our lives would have long changed for the better. Instead, our lives have become worse." - 'Where is accountability?' - Tensions had been brewing for days before the shootings at the Marikana mine.
Strikers were unhappy with their representation, as two separate unions vied to take centre stage, and workers who didn't join the strike had been harassed.
Aisha Fundi says striking workers killed her husband Hassan, a mine security guard.
As part of reparations, the 49-year-old mother of two boys was offered a job at the mine, but she says that isn't enough.
"Me and my kids want to see justice," she said.
She says she still does not know who killed her husband, and fears that they could be working alongside her.
She is also yet to receive any compensation.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, a non-executive director of the mine at the time, was exonerated of any wrongdoing in the killings, after he called for a crackdown on the strikers.
Miners, activists and opposition groups want Ramaphosa to apologise.
Sociology researcher Trevor Ngwane said victims and their relatives lacked closure.
"There hasn't been justice," he said.
The community in "Marikana is still traumatised".
Onkgopotse JJ Tabane, a political commentator, at a memorial speech this week said the Marikana incident remained "an open grave".
"Where is the accountability?" he asked.