Govt must take responsibility for Marikana – DA

Johannesburg — Government must take responsibility for the Marikana shootings and compensate the families of the victims, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said yesterday.

“The tragic loss of life was borne by devastated families, most of whom lost their sole breadwinners and caregivers. Three years later they are still seeking justice, accountability and compensation from an ANC government that has provided none of these,” he said in a statement.

“The Democratic Alliance has, therefore, today [Tuesday] launched a petition to be tabled before Parliament when it reconvenes next year, requesting that the Minister of Finance establishes a compensation fund to benefit all the families of the victims of Marikana and makes a special appropriation for this fund in the 2016/17 financial year.”

He said that as a result of “inaction” by President Jacob Zuma’s government, the families of those who died continued to suffer without financial support.

“Our petition aims to expedite this process through the establishment of a fund by Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene to provide financial support, based on a fair actuarial calculation, to all those who suffered a loss at Marikana,” Maimane said.

“At the very least this fund should compensate families for the loss of income suffered, but we urge the minister to include compensation for emotional shock and psychiatric injury; grief and emotional suffering; loss of family life; and loss of parental care.”

Once the petition has been tabled in the National Assembly, it will be referred to the Committee on Private Members Legislation and Special Petitions. It will be left to the committee to make a recommendation on how to proceed.

“The victims cannot wait indefinitely. President Zuma’s government must take responsibility for what happened and right this terrible wrong. The families of those who died must be compensated.”

Forty-four people died during strike-related violence at Lonmin’s platinum mining operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg, in the North West.

Thirty-four people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with police, more than 70 were wounded and another 250 arrested on August 16 2012. Police were apparently trying to disarm and disperse them.

In the preceding week 10 people, including policemen and two security guards, were killed. —  News24

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