Government failed Marikana - Lekota

Rustenburg - Government has failed the people of Marikana, Congress of the People (Cope) leader Mosiuoa Lekota said on Saturday.

"I am disappointed the government failed our people. We know who were the commanders of the police on 16 August 2012," he said, referring to the day when police opened fire on striking mineworkers, killing 34 of them.

Ten others including two policemen and two Lonmin security guards were killed in the preceding week.

"It is known who were the commanders and who issued guns to the police," he said.

Lekota said government officials should have called the police commander and found out instead of establishing a commission.

"The money should have been used to build houses and reconstruct their lives.

"Lonmin should have engaged with government on how to improve the salary of these workers."

He said the living conditions of mineworkers had deteriorated in the last two years.

"It is worse."

Lekota was speaking on the side-lines of the commemoration rally in Wonderkop, outside Rustenburg in the North West which marked the second anniversary of the Marikana shooting.

"Why did the government shoot the people?" he asked.

"If it was the apartheid government we can understand but this a government elected by the people.

"This is not the freedom we want to exile for. This is a completely different government. It responded by force when the people made demands."

Lekota said South Africans should reflect on the leadership of the country.