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Maimane: No change in Marikana

2014-08-16 12:59

Marikana - Nothing has changed in Marikana two years after 34 striking mineworkers were shot dead, Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane said on Saturday.

"The living conditions of mineworkers has not changed two years later," he told Sapa when he arrived at the Nkaneng informal settlement in Wonderkop near Marikana, North West.

"Two years later we still have [a] migrant labour system. The mining industry has not transformed."

Maimane was attending the commemoration rally which marked the second year anniversary of the shooting.

Maimane, dressed in a black pinstripe suite and white shirt, said he would talk about the conflict of interest involving mining houses and politicians.

Better wage

"Politicians have shares in mines and as such fail to hold them accountable."

He said mineworkers were killed demanding a better wage to better their lives.

A total of forty-four people were killed during the strike-related violence at Lonmin's platinum mining operations in Marikana in August 2012.

Thirty-four of them, mostly mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with police, over 70 were wounded, and over 250 arrested on 16 August 2012.

Rock drill operators rejected the National Union of Mineworkers and led a wildcat strike demanding a basic monthly salary of R12 500.

Union songs

Ten people, among them two security guards and two police officers were killed in the preceding week.

President Jacob Zuma has appointed retired judge Ian Farlam to probe the incident.

Dali Mpofu who was representing families of slain mineworkers said he hoped the public would judge what happened during that unrest after the commission had completed its work.

Mpofu, Maimane and Anglican Bishop Johannes Seoka were among the those who had arrived for the commemoration on Saturday.

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction dressed in green union T-shirts arrived in buses and sang union songs, mocking the police.

"Police are dogs" they sang in Xhosa as some pointed fingers at the police.

SAPA

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