Minister happy to join in Marikana commemoration

Johannesburg - Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi would be happy to participate in the commemoration of the Marikana shootings.

"We hoped Marikana never happened, but we acknowledge that it was a failure of all stakeholders," he told reporters on the side-lines of the mining lekgotla in Midrand on Wednesday.

"I would be quite happy to be invited to Marikana and join in the commemoration."

Forty-four people were killed during strike-related violence at Lonmin's platinum mining operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg in the North West, in August 2012.

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

Saturday will be two years since the shooting.

Last year, government was absent from the one-year commemoration.

Ramatlhodi, who was appointed mineral resources minister in May this year, conceded that the situation at Marikana could have been handled better.

"We will do whatever we can in the long term to [help]."

The mining lekgotla was being attended by different parties in the industry.

This included representatives of different mining companies, unions, government and the Chamber of Mines.

Union representatives of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity and Uasa were present. However, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, who were invited, did not attend.

Mining communities were reportedly planning on marching to the lekgotla on Wednesday afternoon because they had been excluded from the event.

This was after they were told last year that they would be included.

However, NUM general secretary Frans Baleni said communities were invited to participate in sessions dealing with community issues.

Zilindile Gagule 2014-08-13 03:46:00 PM
To Mr Jacob Zuma,and his cabinet if they can make 16/08/12 it as a Public Holiday in future we can appteciate the once.And i believed the families of killed miners can forgive the Nation.
Nin Ja Kitty 2014-08-13 04:32:33 PM
Another public holiday. Will cost the country a lot of money. So not a good idea. Our economy is already crying. We cannot afford another day off. RIP all those and bless the families of the victims.
Ken Sudding 2014-08-13 07:02:33 PM
Here we go again. Another excuse to do nothing.
C'phiweh Masinga 2014-08-14 07:35:33 AM
is vary painfully story about Marikana kill people like dis way No No