RUSTENBURG, South Africa – Thousands of miners gathered in South Africa’s northeastern city of Rustenburg on Wednesday to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Marikana massacre, as witnessed by an epa photojournalist on the ground.
On Aug. 16, 2012, 34 Lonmin plc miners were killed and at least 79 others were wounded when police officers attempted to disperse a wildcat strike.
Wednesday’s commemorations saw participants congregating on Wonderkop Hill, the site where the mass killing took place five years ago.
Some miners gathered in protest, wielding sticks and traditional weapons, at the base of the small mound.
The day-long event saw the anniversary marked with traditional song and dance, followed by speeches by mining union bosses.
A tweet on the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union page cited leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance party, Mmusi Maimane: “What happened here 5yrs ago deserves justice and never forget they killed our people 5years ago.”
Although the shooting is considered the worst abuse by police in South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994, those responsible have not been prosecuted.
Most miners who work in the area’s vast platinum mines come from rural areas of South Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.