President Cyril Ramaphosa is being sued for around R1 billion in his private capacity for his role in the Marikana massacre.
THE BLOOD of 44 Marikana workers cried out with pain in the streets of Johannesburt on Thursday as the widows of the deceased mine workers and some of the survivors of the tragic shooting protested outside the South Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is being sued for around R1 billion in his private capacity for his role in the Marikana massacre. He is being accused of influencing police and state officials to take violent action against the striking miners.
Scores of workers and widows of Sibanye Still Waters, previously known as Lonmin, displayed their frustrations outside court over what they described as Ramaphosa’s reckless behaviour which they said was the cause of the death of scores of workers in Marikana in 2012.
Speaking to The Star, Muziwoxolo Magidiwana said he could still smell the blood of his co-workers who perished on the koppie 10 years ago.
“I was in Marikana in 2012. I was one of the survivors and I was even arrested. The president wanted us to get hurt and we want the court to grant us justice,” he said.
Magidiwana said he and other workers had came to Joburg to compel the president to take responsibility for the Marikana Massacre.
“We have not forgiven. If the president loved workers we would not be here. If he loved workers, miners would not be camping outside the Union Building awaiting his help,” Magidiwana said.
He said despite the massacre happening years ago working at Sibanye was still difficult.
A Marikana community member, Nomfanelo Jali, said she had come to Joburg from the North West to also seek justice for the Marikana workers. She also recalled her memories of that fateful day.
“I remember the sound of the helicopter telling people to get off the koppie. We as women took our towels, rapped them around our waists and went to the koppie. When we got there our men were on the floor,” Jali said.
Jali said the people of Marikana were still waiting for the president to come and apologise for the massacre as he had promised at Winnie Mandela’s funeral in 2019.
Meanwhile, a lawyer representing 36 families of the Marikana workers stood outside the High Court with a group of widows. The Star tried speaking to the widows but they said it was too painful to talk. Their lawyer Nomzamo Zondo spoke on their behalf.
“The families of the deceased are here because they understand that President Ramaphosa and Sibanye are going to be arguing that they didn’t contribute to the massacre. The family wants to know on what basis Ramaphosa and the mine are saying they are not entitled to that apology,” Zondo said.
He said the Marikana Massacre was South Africa’s first post apartheid massacre. She said the families had also asked that a monument be built in memory of the dead miners.
“In a case where lives have been lost why is it incompetent for the person who is now the president of the country and company who was at the time employing the striking miners not to give an unconditional apology,” Zondo said.
The Star understands that the State had already paid R100m to the victims of the massacre but reparations had been given out unevenly. There were also issues concerning the widows who were working at the mine after the deaths of their husbands. Some of them were working in the same shafts as their dead husbands.